velvet glove

See synonyms for velvet glove on
  1. an outwardly gentle or friendly manner used to disguise one's firm or ruthless determination.

Words Nearby velvet glove Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use velvet glove in a sentence

  • Bratton claims he was “furious” at the disrespect, but he informed his officers that “I issue no mandates and I make no threats of discipline” because he thought the right touch was “a velvet glove, not a hammer.”

  • While it lasted we literally and constantly meet with the “iron hand under the velvet glove.”

    Armour in England | J. Starkie Gardner
  • It was only by gentlest degrees that the iron hand of satire made itself felt under the velvet glove of conventional good manners.

    Mount Royal, Volume 3 of 3 | Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • In the practical world there are two conquering forces—the iron hand and the velvet glove.

  • The touch of the would-be iron hand in the velvet glove of faded age made him conscious of his vast advantage over her.

    The Heather-Moon | C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson