strict, harsh, or autocratic, often ruthless control: The general governed the country with an iron hand.
- Also iron fist .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use iron hand in a sentence
Jack not only ran the noon games — with an iron hand — but was, more often than not, the best player.Philadelphia says goodbye to an icon, and the Palestra will never feel the same | John Feinstein | November 6, 2020 | Washington Post
At 75, the spirited Pacha founder, Ricardo Urgell, keeps an iron hand on his empire.
There is no doubt that, had necessity with her iron hand compelled him, he would have been an excellent painter.Charles Baudelaire, His Life | Thophile Gautier
To a great extent the army, ever partial to the iron hand, has given it the support of its great power.
But the count once more expatiated on the iron hand indispensable for children as well as for the people.Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 | Gustave Flaubert
British Dictionary definitions for iron hand
harsh or rigorous control; overbearing or autocratic force: he ruled with an iron hand
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.