heavy hand


Also found in: Dictionary.

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.
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

heavy ˈhand

a way of doing something or of treating people that is much stronger and less sensitive than it needs to be: the heavy hand of management OPPOSITE: a light touch ▶ ˌheavy-ˈhanded adj.: a heavy-handed approach/manner
See also: hand, heavy
References in classic literature ?
Ah, I know that sign: thou'st a wife at home, poor soul, and you and she have gone hungry to bed, many's the time, that the little ones might have your crust; you know what poverty is, and the daily insults of your betters, and the heavy hand of the Church and the king.
Disko dropped a heavy hand on his shoulder, for the man's eyes were wild and his lips trembled as he stared at the silent crew.
bringing his heavy hand down on Alleyne's shoulder.
As Tarzan's heavy hand fell upon his shoulder the priest dropped his victim, and turned upon her would-be rescuer.
Thus spoke Issus, and the heavy hand of the officer fell upon my shoulder.
I thought that they were about to fall upon me on the spot, and so I laid my hands upon my revolvers; but at length they became more quiet and presently transmitted some command to my Sagoth guard, the chief of which laid a heavy hand upon my arm and pushed me roughly before him from the audience-chamber.
Leaping to his feet he ran for the window; but the ape-man was too quick for him and before he could leap through the sash a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder and he was jerked back and hurled across the room to the opposite wall.
Then, again, it would never do in plain sight of the world's riveted eyes, it would never do, I say, for this straddling captain to be seen steadying himself the slightest particle by catching hold of anything with his hands; indeed, as token of his entire, buoyant self-command, he generally carries his hands in his trowsers' pockets; but perhaps being generally very large, heavy hands, he carries them there for ballast.
On the other hand, few businesses like being regulated, so the interests of the passenger have to be weighed against the complaints of the owners about the heavy hand of government.
Wendy, Michael, and John are laboring under the heavy hand of Nanny Holborn.
The "speed" versus "price" debate has been heating up over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) "trade-through" rule, but according to the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) lifting the heavy hand of government off the marketplace and providing more choices for the growing investor class are the real issues at stake.
We do not recommend covering the seed when you sow it, because some seeds need light to germinate, and if you have a heavy hand the seeds could be buried very deeply,'' Harmon said.
But some in the business fear a heavy hand from regulators, who they said may try to impose traditional workplace laws on a nontraditional industry.
The suit reflects the hostility and the heavy hand of censorship of the ACLU which we believe will ultimately fail.
We have been saying for months that this level of service would not be possible with the heavy hand of government intervention.