rule with an iron hand

(redirected from rules with an iron hand)

rule with an iron hand

To rule, govern, or control a group or population with complete, typically tyrannical authority over all aspects of life, work, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rule" and "with." He rules with an iron hand, and moves swiftly to gain control over any entity that is not already in his grasp. She has ruled this company with an iron hand for three decades, and it's going to be difficult for her to let go of control.
See also: hand, iron, rule
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rule (somebody/something) with a rod of ˈiron/with an iron ˈhand

(informal) control somebody/something in a very strong or strict way: They ruled the country with an iron hand and anybody who protested was arrested.
See also: hand, iron, of, rod, rule
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

iron hand (in a velvet glove), to rule with an

To rule with absolute firmness (concealed by a mild manner). Ruling with iron was an idea expressed in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation: “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (2:27). Iron hand in a velvet glove comes from Thomas Carlyle’s Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850) and is there ascribed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “‘Iron hand in a velvet glove,’ as Napoleon defined it.” However, the phrase has been attributed to other rulers, too, among them Charles V. Today it is more often used for lesser authorities, such as a strict parent, but may be dying out.
See also: hand, iron, rule, to, velvet

rule with an iron hand/rod, to

Stern or tyrannical rule. This term comes from Tyndall’s translation of the Bible (1526): “And he shall rule them with a rodde of yron.” It was later transferred to any kind of stern domination, either serious or ironic. For the latter, Anthony Trollope used it in Barchester Towers (1857): “In matters domestic she . . . ruled with a rod of iron.” See also iron hand (in a velvet glove).
See also: hand, iron, rule, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
A police state, divided into paramilitary zones, rules with an iron hand. Television is controlled by the state and a sadistic game show called The RunningMan has become the most popular program in history.
But the Palestinian Legislative Council sits in Gaza, where Hamas rules with an iron hand, brooking no interference from Abbas and openly committed to the annihilation of Israel--every city, every town, every village.
not because she rules with an iron hand but because her children have always been able to depend on her.
It's been a tough five months for Texas Speaker Tom Craddick, the first Republican to lead the chamber since Reconstruction and a leader who rules with an iron hand. In this rough and tumble session, members who were angered over his parliamentary rulings on which bills could be taken up and when, overrode him.
Griff, the irascible family patriarch, rules with an iron hand over his five children while their mother Grace cowers in her own separate world.
For 30 years he rules with an iron hand: torturing, terrifying murdering and emasculating anyone posing a real or imaginary challenge to his rule - creating a cult of personality and amassing a huge personal fortune.
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.
He may be laughably stiff, but he's fair-minded and honest, which makes him the textbook opposite of the local French military governor, Lefebvre (Francois Berleand), who rules with an iron hand. Lefebvre is particularly odious to Moeata (Marie Trintignant) -- the rebellious, French-born widow of the last man who tried to raise a revolt -- and her son, Reia (Anituavau Lande), the titular prince revered by the otherwise cowed local population.
Internet World's review of Net Nanny in its September 1996 issue starts by saying, "Net Nanny rules with an iron hand." Apparently a new "feature" of this product is that its blocking capabilities, that for which the user pays $39.95 per machine, can be turned off!