Barbarous vs Tyrant - What's the difference?

barbarous | tyrant |

As adjectives the difference between barbarous and tyrant

is that barbarous is not classical or pure while tyrant is (uncommon) tyrannical, tyrannous; like, characteristic of, or in the manner of a tyrant.

As a noun tyrant is

(historic|ancient greece) a usurper; one who gains power and rules extralegally, distinguished from kings elevated by election or succession.

As a verb tyrant is

(obsolete) to act like a tyrant; to be tyrannical.



Alternative forms

* (obsolete) barbarouse


(en adjective)
  • Not classical or pure.
  • uncivilized, uncultured
  • Like a barbarian, especially in sound; noisy, dissonant.
  • I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs
    By the known rules of antient libertie,
    When strait a barbarous noise environs me
    Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs - (1673)

    Derived terms

    * barbarously * barbarousness



    (wikipedia tyrant) (Tyrant flycatcher) (Tyrannidae)


    (en noun)
  • (historic, ancient Greece) A usurper; one who gains power and rules extralegally, distinguished from kings elevated by election or succession.
  • * (Robert Mannyng), , 51:
  • A bastard no kyngdom]] suld hald Bot if he it wan... Of tirant or of [[Saracen, Sarazin.
  • * , III v 59:
  • A tyraunt þat]] was kyng of [[Sicily, sysile.
  • * , III iii 71:
  • To proue]] him Tyrant , this reason may suffice, That Henry [[liveth, liueth still.
  • * 1980 , Michel Austin & al., Economic and Social History of Ancient Greece , 142:
  • The reappearance of tyranny [in the 4th century BC] had many reasons... one of the main causes was the development of antagonism between rich and poor; tyrants came to power exploiting a social and political imbalance within the state.
  • * 1996 , Roger Boesche, Theories of Tyranny, from Plato to Arendt , 4:
  • Ancient Greek tyrannies appeared once more in great numbers with the breakdown of the polis in the period from the fourth to the second centuries [BC]. These later tyrannies tended to rely on a more narrow class base and to use a brutal military rule, and thus writers could use the words tyrant'' and ''tyranny , with their modern connotations of evil and cruelty, to describe them accurately.
  • (obsolete) Any monarch or governor.
  • * Richard Rolle, Psalter , XXXII 10:
  • Princes, þat]] is,... tirauntis of [[world, warld.
  • * 1382 , (w, Wycliffe's Bible), I 3:
  • The sonys]] of Yrael, and of the [[king's, kyngus bloode, and the children of tyrauntis .
  • * 1737 , William Whiston translating (Josephus), (History of the Jewish Wars) , I xii §2:
  • Cassius... set tyrants over all Syria.
  • A despot; a ruler who governs unjustly, cruelly, or harshly.
  • * 1297 , , Chronicle , 7689:
  • To hom]] [[withsaid, wiþsede strong tirant & wilde.
  • * John Fortescue, Works , 453:
  • Whan]] a Kyng rulith his Realme onely to his own profytt, and not to the good of his Subgetts, he [[is, ys a Tyraunte .
  • * 1587 , Philip Sidney and Arthur Golding, A woorke concerning the trewnesse of the christian religion , translating Philippe De Mornay, XII 196:
  • Tyrannes but Gods]] scourges which he will cast into the [[fire, fyre when he hath done with them.
  • * , V iv 5:
  • I am the Sonne]] of Marcus Cato, hoe.
    A Foe to Tyrants , and my [[country's, Countries Friend.
  • * 1888 , James Bryce, The American Commonweath , I iv 42:
  • They [ to play the tyrant , and which rendered English liberty, as they thought, far inferior to that which the constitutions of their own States secured.
  • (by extension) Any person who abuses the power of position or office to treat others unjustly, cruelly, or harshly.
  • * in the South-English Legendary (MS Laud 108), I 128:
  • Ore]] louerd helpe weren alle is [[few, fon!
  • * (William Shakespeare), (The Tempest) , II ii 161:
  • A plague vpon]] the Tyrant that I [[serve, serue
  • * 1817 , Mary Mitford in Alfred L'Estrange, The life of Mary Russell Mitford (1870), II i 2
  • a sad tyrant , as my friends the Democrats sometimes are.
  • (by extension) A villain; a person or thing who uses strength or violence to treat others unjustly, cruelly, or harshly.
  • * 1377 , William Langland, (Piers Plowman) , I 199:
  • Attache]] þo tyrauntz ...And fettereth fast falsenesse...And gurdeth of gyles [[hid, hed.
  • * William Dunbar, Poems , 95:
  • That strang]] [[unmerciful, vnmercifull tyrand [Death].
  • * 1526 , (w, Tyndale's Bible), I 13:
  • I was a blasphemar, and a persecuter, and a tyraunt .
  • * 1528 , Thomas Paynell translating Arnaldus de Villa Nova in Joannes de Mediolano, Regimen Sanitatis Salerni :
  • A pike (called the tyranne of fishes).
  • * (William Shakespeare), (The Tragedie of Cymbeline) , I i 85:
  • O dissembling Curtesie! How fine this Tyrant Can tickle where she wounds?
  • * 1847 , A. Helps, Friends in Council , I viii 132:
  • Public opinion, the greatest tyrant of these times.
  • The tyrant birds, members of the family , which often fight or drive off other birds which approach their nests.
  • * 1731 , Mark Catesby, The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands , I 55:
  • The Tyrant ... The courage of this little Bird is singular.
  • * Swainson, Penny Cyclopaedia , XXI 415 2:
  • The lesser tyrants' (''Tyrannulæ'') are spread over the whole of America, where they represent the true flycatcher... The ' tyrants are bold and quarrelsome birds, particularly during the season of incubation.
  • * 1895 , Alfred Newton, A Dictionary of Birds :
  • Tyrant or Tyrant-bird, Catesby applied it solely to...the King-bird..., but apparently as much in reference to its bright to its tyrannical behaviour to other birds.


    * (Greek ruler) archon, basileus, aisymnetes * (unjust or strict ruler or superior) autocrat, dictator, despot, martinet * (bird) tyrant bird, tyrant flycatcher, tyrant shrike, king bird, bee martin

    Derived terms

    * tyrant-air * tyrant-bird * tyrant-chat * tyrant-craft * tyrantess (female form ) * tyrant-fish * tyrant-flycatcher * tyrant-hater * tyrant-hating * tyrant-killer * tyrant-killing * tyrant-kind * tyrant-like * tyrant-murder * Tyrant period * tyrant-queller * tyrant-quelling * tyrant-ridden * tyrant-scouraging * tyrant-shrike * tyrant-slayer * tyrant-tamer * tyrant-wren


  • (uncommon) Tyrannical, tyrannous; like, characteristic of, or in the manner of a tyrant.
  • * 1297 , Robert of Gloucester, Chronicles , 8005:
  • Milce nas þer mid him [King William] non...Ac as a tirant tormentor in speche]] & ek in [[deed, dede.
  • * John Rastell, Pastyme of People
  • He was most tirant & cruell of all emperours.
  • * (William Shakespeare), (As you Like it) , I ii 278:
  • Thus must I from the smoake]] into the smother,
    From tyrant' Duke, [[unto, vnto a ' tyrant Brother.
  • * 1775 , Abigail Adams, letter in Familiar Letters of John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams, during the Revolution (1876), 124:
  • ...a reconciliation between our no longer parent state, but tyrant state, and these colonies.


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To act like a tyrant; to be tyrannical.
  • (Fuller)