reign of terror(redirected from 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?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012