rule with a velvet glove

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rule with a velvet glove

To rule, govern, or control a group or population in a very permissive, lenient, or flexible manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rule" and "with." The principal has been ruling the school with a velvet glove, trusting students to behave and follow the rules of their own accord. Not surprisingly, the place is in near-constant chaos. You can't rule with a velvet glove and expect every employees to put in their full efforts day in, day out.
See also: glove, rule, velvet

rule with a velvet glove

Fig. to rule in a very gentle way. She rules with a velvet glove, but she gets things done, nonetheless. He may appear to rule with a velvet glove, but he is really quite cruel.
See also: glove, rule, velvet