View synonyms for Draconian


[ drey-koh-nee-uhn, druh- ]


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Athenian statesman Draco, or his severe code of laws.
  2. (often lowercase) rigorous; unusually severe or cruel:

    Draconian forms of punishment.


/ dreɪˈkəʊnɪən; dreɪˈkɒnɪk /


  1. of or relating to Draco, 7th-century Athenian statesman and lawmaker, or his code of laws, which prescribed death for almost every offence
  2. harsh

    draconian legislation

“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • draˈconianism, noun
Discover More

Other Words From

  • Dra·coni·an·ism noun
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of Draconian1

First recorded in 1810–20; < Latin Dracōn- (stem of Draco ) + -ian
Discover More

Example Sentences

Human rights groups, however, said the measures were “draconian” and counter-productive.

This photograph is a critique of how draconian the rules of society can be.

A top National Institutes of Health official called the quarantines “draconian.”

The holiday may see more Hongkongers hit the streets, which in turn could provoke the authorities to take more-draconian measures.

I fear the latter, given the draconian governmental measures over a single case, but time will tell.

To walk these two miles per diem is a Draconian law which I impose upon myself during all seasons of the year.

He read the sentence through three times, and then recollected that he had not looked up the Draconian reforms.

Turlough was unquestionably somewhat Spartan in his severities, if not Draconian in his administration of justice.

If there are exceptions who do not subscribe to these Draconian laws of the Parisian code, they are solitary examples.

As the spoliation went on, the decrees became more and more Draconian.