an iron hand

an iron hand

1. A particularly severe, forceful, and uncompromising manner of doing something. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she runs her house with an iron hand. The teacher has an iron hand. If you break any rule at all, you get detention for a week! The dictator has ruled the country with an iron hand since his military coup in 1987.
2. proverb A person who does things in such a manner. The new leader of the country rose to power with promises of democracy and equality, but he soon proved to be an iron hand as his despotic intentions came to light. He's an iron hand, that's why he moves swiftly to gain control over any entity that is not already in his grasp.
See also: an, hand, iron
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

iron hand

Rigorous control, as in He ruled the company with an iron hand. This usage is sometimes put as iron hand in a velvet glove, meaning "firm but seemingly gentle control," as in She runs the town with an iron hand in a velvet glove. [c. 1700]
See also: hand, iron
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

an iron ˈfist/ˈhand (in a velvet ˈglove)

harsh treatment of somebody that is hidden behind a gentle manner: The president ruled his country by using an iron fist in a velvet glove.
See also: an, fist, hand, iron
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
The tribe of anthropoids over which Kerchak ruled with an iron hand and bared fangs, numbered some six or eight families, each family consisting of an adult male with his females and their young, numbering in all some sixty or seventy apes.
Yet perhaps it is wiser to remind you that underneath the glove is an iron hand. We do not often threaten, but we brook no interference.
Ned Land took his handkerchief to wave in the air; but he had scarcely displayed it, when he was struck down by an iron hand, and fell, in spite of his great strength, upon the deck.
The one white man on Oolong was McAllister, petty trader and unintermittent guzzler; and he ruled Oolong and its six thousand savages with an iron hand. He said come, and they came, go, and they went.
For Bashti, unlike most chiefs, ruled his devil devil doctors with an iron hand. Other chiefs, even Nau-hau of Langa-Langa, were ruled by their devil devil doctors.
The one-wheelers, dangerous driving, speeding motorcycle driving without silencers would also be discouraged strictly and violators would be dealt with an iron hand, he added.
The chief minister asked commissioner and deputy commissioner Rawalpindi todeal with influential land grabbers with an iron hand.
Encroachers will be dealt with an iron hand and will b jailed if they do not stop violating the law.
Security is mandatory as Pakistan stands at a very crucial juncture where foreigners have finally started taking interest and are keen to visit and invest in the country whereas the business climate is also showing some signs of improvement which is not acceptable to the anti-state elements who must be dealt with an iron hand as we cannot afford to go back into the darkness of terrorism and lawlessness.
Coming off a string of so-so efforts in the circuit she used to rule with an iron hand, Rodriguez birdied the 18th to salvage a 34-36 card that was simply brilliant on a sun-scorched day at the hazard-laden layout.
The father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had said that one of the biggest curses is bribery and corruption, which really is a poison that needs to be tackled with an iron hand.
Babar said of the UK's air raids on Isis in Syria: "We should deal with terrorists with an iron hand and show no concessions.
MOUNT ARAFAT: Muslim leaders must strike the enemies of Islam with "an iron hand", Saudi Arabia's top cleric said during prayers yesterday.Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh's comments came after Saudi Arabia and four other Arab nations joined the US in aerial bombardment of the Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.
He said that whereas all acts of violence should be dealt with an iron hand, all segments of religious opinion should be taken on board in a proactive and positive manner.
New Delhi, Jan 4 ( ANI ): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said crimes against women and weaker sections of society need to be curbed with an iron hand.