Definition of TYRANT,


TYRANT,

government. The chief magistrate of the state, whether
legitimate or otherwise, who violates the constitution to act arbitrarily
contrary to justice. Toull. tit. prel. n. 32.


2. The term tyrant and usurper, are sometimes used as synonymous,
because usurpers are almost always tyrants; usurpation is itself a tyrannical
act, but properly speaking, the words usurper and tyrant convey different
ideas. A king may become a tyrant, although legitimate, when he acts
despotically; while a usurper may cease to be a tyrant by governing according
to the dictates of justice.


3. This term is sometimes applied to persons in authority who violate
the laws and act arbitrarily towards others. Vide Despotism.




Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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