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 periodicals archive ?
KARACHI -- A suspected gangster, who had allegedly established a reign of terror in Lyari and was wanted in over 40 criminal cases, was killed in an 'encounter' in Kharadar in the early hours of Friday morning, officials said.
She finds the tyrannical Red Queen has begun a reign of terror that can only be ended by slaying the monstrous Jabberwocky - a task she is seemingly destined to attempt.
Kasab was the lone terrorist who was caught alive out of the ten Pakistani terrorists who unleashed a reign of terror by opening indiscriminate firing on innocent people and killing as many as 166 people, including many foreigners.
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.
Commission on International Religious Freedom reports a reign of terror against religion in this Marxist-Stalinist country.
Having abetted the notion that McCarthy presided over a reign of terror, Ritchie grudgingly admits that this wasn't the case -- even as he tries to dismiss the senator's investigative work as pointless.
The bombing was just one part of a reign of terror that Frank Boyd Cockrell II planned in order to escape fraud charges and retaliate against prosecutors whom Cockrell believed were conspiring against him, said Charles M.