The government or authority of a tyrant; a country governed by an absolute ruler; hence, arbitrary or despotic exercise of power; exercise of power over subjects and others with a rigor not authorized by law or justice, or not requisite for the purposes of government.
- A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
- The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
- Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: "I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” ( Thomas Jefferson).
- Use of absolute power.
- A tyrannical act.
- Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.