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 periodicals archive ?
Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.
The legal requirements of the 1993 Act could quite reasonably be described as a form of linguistic, cultural and social tyranny that clearly has been much resented.

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