rule with a rod of iron
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Related to rule with a rod of iron: rule with an iron fist
rule (somebody) with a rod of iron(British, American & Australian) also rule (somebody) with an iron fist/hand (American & Australian)
to control a group of people very firmly, having complete power over everything that they do For 17 years she ruled the country with a rod of iron. My uncle rules the family business with an iron hand.