1. The severe deprivation of a natural right.

2. The accumulation of all powers ¡ª the legislative, executive, and judicial ¡ª in the same hands (whether few or many). ? Sense 2 expresses the Madisonian view of tyranny, to be found in The Federalist, No. 47.

3. Arbitrary or despotic government; the severe and autocratic exercise of sovereign power, whether vested constitutionally in one ruler or usurped by that ruler by breaking down the division and distribution of governmental powers. ¡ª tyrannical, tyrannous, adj.

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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.