(Fr. tyrannie; from tyran)
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.
(From Websters Dictionary of 1828)