- tyranny (n.)
- late 14c., "cruel or unjust use of power," from Old French tyrannie (13c.), from Late Latin tyrannia "tyranny," from Greek tyrannia "rule of a tyrant," from tyrannos "master" (see tyrant).
- tyrant (n.)
- c.1300, "absolute ruler," from Old French tyrant (12c.), from Latin tyrannus "lord, master, tyrant" (cf. Spanish tirano, Italian tiranno), from Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); cf. Etruscan Turan "mistress, lady" (surname of Venus).
In the exact sense, a tyrant is an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having a right to it. This is how the Greeks understood the word 'tyrant': they applied it indifferently to good and bad princes whose authority was not legitimate. [Rousseau, "The Social Contract"]
The spelling with -t arose in Old French by analogy with present participle endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); cf. Medieval Latin tyrannissa (late 14c.).
- tyre (n.)
- variant spelling of tire (n.), chiefly British English.
- Tyrian (adj.)
- 1510s, from Latin Tyrius "of Tyre," from Tyrus, island-city in the Levant, from Greek Tyros, from Hebrew/Phoenician tzor, literally "rock, rocky place." Especially in reference to Tyrian purple, a dye made there in ancient times from certain mollusks.
- tyro (n.)
- 1610s, from Medieval Latin tyro, variant of Latin tiro (plural tirones) "young soldier, recruit, beginner," of unknown origin.
- Irish county, from Irish Tir Eoghain "Eoghan's Land," from Eoghan "Owen," ancestor of the O'Neills, who owned land here. Tir also forms the final syllable in Leinster, Munster, Ulster.
- tyrosine (n.)
- amino acid, 1857, coined 1846 by German chemist Baron von Justus Liebig (1802-1873), who had first obtained it a year before, from Greek tyros "cheese" + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called because it was easily obtained from old cheese.
- 1650s, "pertaining to the Etruscans," from Latin Tyrrheni, from Greek Tyrrenoi "Tyrrhenians," from tyrsis "tower, walled city" (cf. Latin turris "tower"). Earlier Tyrrhene (late 14c.).