1. [syn: New World flycatcher, flycatcher, tyrant flycatcher, tyrant bird]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Tyrant \Tyr"ant\ (t[imac]"rant), n. [OE. tirant, tiraunt,
tyraunt, OF. tiran, tirant (probably from confusion with the
p. pr. of verbs), F. tyran, L. tyrannus, Gr. ty`rannos,
originally, an absolute sovereign, but afterwards, a severe
or cruel ruler.]
1. An absolute ruler; a sovereign unrestrained by law or
constitution; a usurper of sovereignty.
Note: Free governments [in Greece] having superseded the old
hereditary sovereignties (basilei^ai), all who obtained
absolute power in a state were called ty`rannoi,
tyrants, or rather despots; -- for the term rather
regards the irregular way in which the power was
gained, whether force or fraud, than the way in which
it was exercised, being applied to the mild
Pisistratus, but not to the despotic kings of Persia.
However, the word soon came to imply reproach, and was
then used like our tyrant. --Liddell & Scott.
2. Specifically, a monarch, or other ruler or master, who
uses power to oppress his subjects; a person who exercises
unlawful authority, or lawful authority in an unlawful
manner; one who by taxation, injustice, or cruel
punishment, or the demand of unreasonable services,
imposes burdens and hardships on those under his control,
which law and humanity do not authorize, or which the
purposes of government do not require; a cruel master; an
oppressor. "This false tyrant, this Nero." --Chaucer.
Love, to a yielding heart, is a king, but to a
resisting, is a tyrant. --Sir P.
3. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of American
clamatorial birds belonging to the family Tyrannidae; --
called also tyrant bird.
Note: These birds are noted for their irritability and
pugnacity, and for the courage with which they attack
rapacious birds far exceeding them in size and
strength. They are mostly plain-colored birds, but
often have a bright-colored crown patch. A few species,
as the scissorstail, are handsomely colored. The
kingbird and pewee are familiar examples.
Tyrant flycatcher (Zool.), any one of numerous species of
tyrants which have a flattened bill, toothed at the tip,
and resemble the true flycatchers in habits. The Acadian
flycatcher (Empidonax Acadicus) and the vermilion
flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubineus) are examples.
Tyrant shrike (Zool.), any one of numerous species of
American tyrants of the genus Tyrannus having a strong
toothed bill and resembling the shrikes in habits. The
kingbird is an example.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: large American birds that characteristically catch insects
on the wing [syn: New World flycatcher, flycatcher,
tyrant flycatcher, tyrant bird]