c. 1300, "absolute ruler," especially one without legal right; "cruel, oppressive ruler," from Old French tiran, tyrant (12c.), from Latin tyrannus "lord, master, monarch, despot," especially "arbitrary ruler, cruel governor, autocrat" (source also of Spanish tirano, Italian tiranno), from Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler unlimited by law or constitution," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); Klein compares 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"]
Originally in Greek the word was not applied to old hereditary sovereignties (basileiai) and despotic kings, but it was used of usurpers, even when popular, moderate, and just (such as Cypselus of Corinth), however it soon became a word of reproach in the usual modern sense. The unetymological spelling with -t arose in Old French by analogy with present-participle endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); Medieval Latin had tyrannissa (late 14c.).
well-known game bird, long domesticated in Europe, c. 1300 fesaunt (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French fesaunt, Old French faisan (13c.) "pheasant," from Latin phasianus (Medieval Latin fasianus), from Greek phasianos "a pheasant," literally "Phasian bird," from Phasis, the river flowing into the Black Sea in Colchis, where the birds were said to have been numerous.
The ph- was restored in English late 14c. (see ph). The unetymological -t is due to confusion with -ant, suffix of nouns formed from present participle of verbs in first Latin conjugation (compare ancient, pageant, tyrant, peasant). The Latin word also is the source of Spanish faisan, Portuguese feisão, German Fasan, Russian bazhantu.
late 14c., in translations of the Old Testament, "the governor of a province of ancient Persia," from Latin satrapes, from Greek satrapēs, exatrapēs, from Old Persian xšathrapavan-, literally "guardian of the realm," from xšathra- "realm, province" (related to xšayathiya "king," cognate with Sanskrit kshatra; see shah) + pavan- "guardian" (from PIE root *pa- "to feed; to guard, protect").
Extended by late 14c. to any autocratic superior, and figuratively to a despotic official under a tyrant, a sense, according to OED, also found in Medieval Latin and all the Romanic languages. Related: Satrapy (n.); satrapess (n.); satrapal; satrapial; satrapian.
son of Laius and Jocasta, the king and queen of Thebes, from Greek Oidipous, literally "swollen-foot," from oidan "to swell" (from PIE *oid-; see edema) + pous (genitive podos) "foot," from PIE root *ped- "foot." Shelley titled his play based on Sophocles' work "Swellfoot the Tyrant." Oedipus complex (1910) was coined by Freud. In Latin, figurative references to Oedipus generally referred to solving riddles. Oedipus effect (1957) is Karl Popper's term for "the self-fulfilling nature of prophecies or predictions."
"great hunter," 1712, a reference to the biblical son of Cush, referred to (Genesis x.8-9) as "a mighty hunter before the Lord." In Middle English he was Nembrot (mid-13c.), founder of cities and builder of the tower of Babel (though Genesis does not name him as such). In 16c.-17c. his name was synonymous with "a tyrant." The word came to mean "geek, klutz" by 1983 in teenager slang, for unknown reasons. (Amateur theories include its occasional use in "Bugs Bunny" cartoon episodes featuring rabbit-hunting Elmer Fudd as a foil; its alleged ironic use, among hunters, for a clumsy member of their fraternity; or a stereotype of deer hunters by the non-hunting population in the U.S.)
late 13c., "honor, respect, deference (shown to someone), esteem heightened by awe," also of places or holy objects, from Old French reverence "respect, awe" and directly from Latin reverentia "awe, respect," from revereri "to stand in awe of, respect, honor, fear, be afraid of; revere," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + vereri "stand in awe of, fear, respect" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for").
Reverence is nearly equivalent to veneration, but expresses something less of the same emotion. It differs from awe in that it is not akin to the feeling of fear, dread, or terror, while also implying a certain amount of love or affection. We feel reverence for a parent and for an upright magistrate, but we stand in awe of a tyrant. [Century Dictionary]
From late 14c. as "state of being revered or venerated." As a respectful form of address, with possessive pronoun, to a clergyman or ecclesiastic, late 14c. (Gower), "latterly only used by the lower classes, esp. in Ireland" [OED].