a person who has complete power in a country and uses it in a cruel and unfair way synonym dictator The country was ruled by a succession of tyrants. (figurative) His boss is a complete tyrant. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French, via Latin from Greek turannos.Extra examples The country had long been ruled by tyrants. The country was ruled by a tyrant. The nation celebrated the death of a ruthless tyrant. He was one of the world's most brutal and murderous tyrants. Many of the naval officers were no more than petty tyrants.