an iron fist

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an iron fist

1. A particularly severe, forceful, and uncompromising manner of ruling, governing, etc.. 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 fist.
2. Someone who rules in such a way. The new leader of the country rose to power with promises of democracy and equality, but he soon proved to be an iron fist as his despotic intentions came to light.
See also: fist, iron

iron fist

A manner that is severe, forceful, or uncompromising. Grandma runs the house with an iron fist—if you break a rule, you're grounded for weeks.
See also: fist, iron

an iron fist

or

an iron hand

COMMON If you do something with an iron fist or an iron hand, you do it with great force and strength. The Generals have ruled the nation with an iron fist for more than half of its independent existence. Peace was enforced with an iron hand in the conquered territories. Note: You can also talk about the iron fist of or the the iron hand of something. The symbol of their rule was not so much the iron fist of repression as the empty shelves of a failing economy.
See also: fist, iron

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: fist, hand, iron
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