mailed fist


noun

superior force, especially military force, when presented as a threat: The country showed its mailed fist in negotiations.
brutal or naked power, especially coercive force: the mailed fist hidden in the velvet glove.

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Origin of mailed fist

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020