reign

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in the reign of Queen Dick

dated At no point ever. (Used to show skepticism over an absurd or unbelievable story.) John: "And after a half-hour struggle, I managed to haul in a fish that weighed over 30 pounds!" Charlie: "Sure, John. That happened in the reign of Queen Dick."
See also: dick, of, queen, reign

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

reign supreme

To be the best or most influential thing in a particular area or era. France's fashion houses still reign supreme today. Disco music reigned supreme in the 1970s.
See also: reign

give free rein to someone

 and give someone free rein
Fig. to allow someone to be completely in charge (of something). (Alludes to loosening the reins of a horse and therefore control.) The boss gave the manager free rein with the new project. The principal gave free rein to Mrs. Brown in her classes.
See also: free, give, rein

reign over someone or something

to rule over someone or something. The king reigned over his subjects for over thirty years. The queen reigned over the country for along time.
See also: over, reign

give free rein to

see under free hand.
See also: free, give, rein

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

reign over

v.
1. To have authority or control over someone or something; rule over someone or something: The same family has reigned over this island for ten generations.
2. To be prevalent or predominant in some place or situation: Chaos reigned over the city during the power outage.
See also: over, reign
References in periodicals archive ?
Had this proposed arrangement been in place during the 20th century, Pius X would have served seven years instead of 11, Benedict XV's term of office would have remained unchanged, Pius XI and Pius XII would have each ruled for a decade, and Paul VI would have reigned for nine years, retiring in 1972.
Then, every once in a while, an emperor would reorganize the Empire in an attempt to make it stronger, as did Diocletian (who reigned from 284 to 305).
He surrounded himself with an armed entourage, since, in Livy's estimation, "he had no claim to the kingdom except by force, inasmuch as he reigned without either the order of the people or the sanction of the senate.
The first was Pope Saint Victor I, who reigned from 189 to 199 A.
Her 50 years and 149 days on the throne beats Edward III, who reigned from 1372 to 1377.
Then, continuing to study the mid-sixteenth century, which she along with a number of other scholars regarded as having been inadequately treated, she transferred her attention to Mary's younger brother, Edward VI, who reigned from the death of Henry VIII in 1547 until his own premature death in 1553.
The Roman Emperor Constantine I (who reigned from 306 to 337) accepted Christianity in 313.
The King and Queen reigned on the Sacramento River until the late 1930's.