tyrant

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TYRANT, government. The chief magistrate of the state, whether legitimate or otherwise, who violates the constitution to act arbitrarily contrary to justice. Toull. tit. prel. n. 32.
     2. The term tyrant and usurper, are sometimes used as synonymous, because usurpers are almost always tyrants; usurpation is itself a tyrannical act, but properly speaking, the words usurper and tyrant convey different ideas. A king may become a tyrant, although legitimate, when he acts despotically; while a usurper may cease to be a tyrant by governing according to the dictates of justice.
     3. This term is sometimes applied to persons in authority who violate the laws and act arbitrarily towards others. Vide Despotism.

References in classic literature ?
This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.
After a while he is driven out, but comes back, in spite of his enemies, a tyrant full grown.
And he, the protector of whom we spoke, is to be seen, not `larding the plain' with his bulk, but himself the overthrower of many, standing up in the chariot of State with the reins in his hand, no longer protector, but tyrant absolute.
At first, in the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes every one whom he meets;--he to be called a tyrant, who is making promises in public and also in private
And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions of freedom, and of resistance to his authority, he will have a good pretext for destroying them by placing them at the mercy of the enemy; and for all these reasons the tyrant must be always getting up a war.
And the tyrant, if he means to rule, must get rid of them; he cannot stop while he has a friend or an enemy who is good for anything.
What a blessed creature, I said, must this tyrant be; he has put to death the others and has these for his trusted friends.
But we are wandering from the subject: Let us therefore return and enquire how the tyrant will maintain that fair and numerous and various and ever-changing army of his.
Why, you do not mean to say that the tyrant will use violence?
He mingles in the narrative, therefore, a well deserved feeling of execration against the tyrant who employed the torture, which a tone of ridicule towards the patient, as if, after all, it had not been ill bestowed on such an equivocal and amphibious character as a titular abbot.
cried the tyrant, fiercely; "what do you mean by that?
The tyrant regarded her, for some moments, in evident wonder at her audacity.