tyrant bird
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. [1913 Webster]

Note: Free governments [in Greece] having superseded the old hereditary sovereignties (basilei^ai), all who obtained absolute power in a state were called ty`rannoi, tyrants, or rather despots; -- for the term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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Love, to a yielding heart, is a king, but to a resisting, is a tyrant. --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of American clamatorial birds belonging to the family {Tyrannid[ae]}; -- called also {tyrant bird}. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{Tyrant flycatcher} (Zo["o]l.), 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} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of American tyrants of the genus {Tyrannus} having a strong toothed bill and resembling the strikes in habits. The kingbird is an example. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tyrant bird — noun large American birds that characteristically catch insects on the wing • Syn: ↑New World flycatcher, ↑flycatcher, ↑tyrant flycatcher • Hypernyms: ↑tyrannid • Hyponyms: ↑kingbird, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tyrant flycatcher — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tyrant shrike — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tyrant flycatcher — noun large American birds that characteristically catch insects on the wing • Syn: ↑New World flycatcher, ↑flycatcher, ↑tyrant bird • Hypernyms: ↑tyrannid • Hyponyms: ↑kingbird, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tyrant flycatcher — Taxobox name = Tyrant flycatchers image width = 240px image caption = Scissor tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes subordo = Tyranni familia = Tyrannidae familia authority …   Wikipedia

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  • tyrant flycatcher — flycatcher (def. 2). [1775 85] * * * ▪ bird also called  New World Flycatcher,    any of about 367 species of aggressive, insect eating New World birds of the family Tyrannidae (order Passeriformes). About one third of the species are not… …   Universalium

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  • phoebe bird — noun small dun colored North American flycatcher • Syn: ↑phoebe, ↑Sayornis phoebe • Hypernyms: ↑New World flycatcher, ↑flycatcher, ↑tyrant flycatcher, ↑tyrant bird • Mem …   Useful english dictionary

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