The following definitions for “tyranny” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and “Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:”
The rule of a despot or tyrant; absolutism.
The violation of those laws which regulate the division and the exercises of the sovereign power of the state. It is a violation of its constitution.
Arbitrary or despotically government; the severe and autocratic exercise of sovereign power, either vested constitutionally in one ruler, or usurped by him by breaking down the division and distribution of governmental powers.
- 1. Arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; the exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government. Hence tyranny is often synonymous with cruelty and oppression.
- 2. Cruel government or discipline; as the tyranny of a master.
- 3. Unresisted and cruel power.
- 4. Absolute monarchy cruelly administered.
- 5. Severity; rigor; inclemency.
- The tyranny o’ th’ open night.