a heavy hand

heavy hand

An excessive, authoritarian, or oppressive way or manner (of doing something). My father always punished us with a heavy hand. The government keeps tight control over any dissenting opinions or rebellious inclinations through the heavy hand of its secret police. Try not to have a heavy hand with the seasoning—you can always add more after you taste it.
See also: hand, heavy

a heavy hand

If a person or organization in a position of power uses or has a heavy hand, they use a lot of force to control people. Henry and Richard both ruled with a heavy hand, but they were gone from the kingdom for years at a time. The heavy hand of the military has not prevented their economies from doing very well. Note: Heavy-handed is used to describe people or actions that use a lot of force. He criticized what he saw as the police's heavy-handed attempts to control the crowd.
See also: hand, heavy
References in classic literature ?
A heavy hand fell upon the shoulder of the escaping Mugambi before he was aware that he was being pursued, and as he turned to do battle with his assailant giant fingers closed about his wrists and he was hurled to earth with a giant astride him before he could strike a blow in his own defence.