a reign of terror

reign of terror

A period of oppression by a hostile ruler. Sometimes used hyperbolically. The people could only tolerate the dictator's reign of terror for so long before they started a revolution. Is mom finished with her reign of terror, or do we have to keep cleaning the house every weekend?
See also: of, reign, terror

a reign of terror

COMMON A reign of terror is a period during which there is a lot of violence and killing, especially by people who are in positions of power. The dictator's 17-year reign of terror had ended and the people took to the streets to celebrate their freedom. His victims during a four-month reign of terror included a schoolgirl and a student. Note: The original Reign of Terror was during the French Revolution between April 1793 and July 1794, when many thousands were put to death by the government.
See also: of, reign, terror
References in classic literature ?
I assure you that there is a reign of terror in the district, and that it is a hardy man who will cross the moor at night.
It was evident that they were putting as much ground between themselves and the coast as possible and doubtless were seeking some impenetrable fastness of the vast interior where they might inaugurate a reign of terror among the primitively armed inhabitants and by raiding, looting, and rape grow rich in goods and women at the expense of the district upon which they settled themselves.
Even as Ukraine is building a peaceful, democratic, independent nation across 93 percent of its territory, Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine are suffering a reign of terror," Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The government expects that North Korea's recent development could bring a bloody purge and a reign of terror, and is closely watching for the possibility of provocations against the South and terror by rebellious groups, " the ministry said, adding that Seoul is thoroughly preparing against military and non-military provocations by North Korea.
No less culpable was Saddam's heir apparent, Qusay, the third axis in the Husseins' reign of terror; a reign of terror no more after a world with Bush.
Expressing "fear for the consequences in the economic, the political, the social, the religious, and educational orders of the entire world," Walsh viewed communism as "the most reactionary and savage school of thought known to history, bringing with it a reign of terror that makes the French Revolution insignificant.
If not, there can be nothing but a reign of terror in the South until the nation is involved in a Civil War from one end of the land to the other of which the last war is a mere trifle compared to it.
Caligula took full advantage of the police-state apparatus founded by his predecessor to unleash a reign of terror unsurpassed (though often matched) in imperial Roman history.
AFGHAN warlord Faryadi Zardad was yesterday accused in an historic trial of being responsible for a reign of terror in his homeland, including victims being mutilated by a "human dog".
Before his arrest, Sanchez conducted a reign of terror in Simi Valley, in which he attacked women - one as young as 15, in some cases abducting them from their homes and videotaping the attacks.
An Afghan man accused of overseeing a reign of terror in his home country has been arrested following an investigation by Scotland Yard, it emerged today.
The terror group's ruling Inner Council held an emergency meeting in Belfast last week after a reign of terror which saw more than FIFTY pipe bomb attacks across Northern Ireland.
As negotiations drag on between the United Nations and the military thugs who have taken over the government, ordinary Haitians endure a reign of terror.
North Korea is currently engaged in a reign of terror while carrying out massive purges in order to consolidate Kim Jong-un's power.