iron hand

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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
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References in periodicals archive ?
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.
It's necessary to promulgate tough laws to put them down with an iron hand.
Addressing the day long conference of Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police on crimes against women and atrocities against SCs/STs held here today, Shinde said: "This needs to be curbed with an iron hand. We need a reappraisal of the entire system, the role of all our stakeholders, the adequacy of our laws, the effectiveness of enforcement at the cutting edge level, the need for increased awareness and sensitivity starting at the school level and covering all people residing at the margins of our society."
The statement warned that 'the brigades of death are at your doors,' adding that they would strike 'with an iron hand at the right time and place'.
Discipline was enforced with an iron hand, with physical punishment frequently applied to those who broke the rules.
As Insight said at the time, "The union rules with an iron hand." By provincial legislation, Catholic teachers in the province have to belong to OECTA, which has come under the control of dissenting members.
Archetypal machine politician Tom Pendergast, who ran Kansas City with a proverbial iron hand, aided Harry Truman's political rise at virtually every step.
This role put surintendantes in the contradictory position of ministering to the needs of women workers while enforcing the iron hand of the boss, a difficult game which Downs analyzes skillfully with evidence from the private journals of the social workers themselves.
The police have warned the public that anyone involved in aerial firing will be dealt with iron hand.
Although the capital police had issued a warning that violators of ban on wheelie would be dealt with iron hand, a number of motor bike riders were observed doing the stunt on different roads such as Seventh Avenue, Ninth Avenue, I.J.
In the past month alone, you have had four columns (i.e., 'Leader with an iron hand' on April 12, 'Quarrelling with rivals is unproductive' on April 16, 'Gutter lingo not an issue among masses' on April 19, and 'Just being 'Bondish' ' on April 21).
Ministry added that the cowardly attack took lives of two royal guards and he was also dealt with iron hand
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.
Chennai, Dec.24 (ANI): Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), V.Narayanasamy, on Saturday said that the government is of the firm view that the Lokpal bill cannot be passed by "someone on the streets or in maidans" and warned that the administration would deal with the issue with "an iron hand".
Kelly Preston, who co-starred in Jerry Maguire, bullies her superstar husband and rules their home with an iron hand, the housekeeper alleges.