Definition of draconian in English:



  • (of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe.

    ‘the Nazis destroyed the independence of the press by a series of draconian laws’
    • ‘There was a time when I would have argued that our libel laws were draconian and should be amended.’
    • ‘There was worrying talk about it not being possible to repeal the draconian anti-trade union laws.’
    • ‘No matter how draconian the laws become, Europe is not capable of shutting its borders.’
    • ‘New laws are being passed, draconian laws that destroy lives and syphon happiness.’
    • ‘Of course, it won't sell over here because we have some of the most draconian censorship laws in the world.’
    • ‘This awful, draconian law has not been used to safeguard copyright, however.’
    • ‘It's about time we sorted a sensible compromise and not a draconian law.’
    • ‘These hard facts indicate real motives behind enactment of this draconian law.’
    • ‘In this way such Treaty Articles are prevented from becoming too harsh or draconian in their application.’
    • ‘It is madness to suggest the draconian speeding laws we have should apply here.’
    • ‘This draconian legislation included provision for flogging, curfew, and internment.’
    • ‘He has supported open prisons and opposed unnecessarily draconian anti-terrorism laws.’
    • ‘Had we been caught, we could have faced two years in jail under draconian new media laws.’
    • ‘I believe that draconian laws are always wrong and the best society is one with the least legislation.’
    • ‘No amount of naval ships or coastguards or draconian laws will stop it happening.’
    • ‘They have called it the most dangerous and draconian legislation ever proposed.’
    • ‘As we look through this part, the question we need to ask is whether it is draconian legislation.’
    • ‘The penalty imposed by law is not draconian, and serves more as a reminder to perform a common sense action.’
    • ‘Mr Banks said that the legislation was draconian in its approach.’
    • ‘Imposing draconian laws that restrict civil liberties will not prevent terrorist attacks.’
    harsh, severe, strict, extreme, drastic, stringent, tough, swingeing, cruel, brutal, oppressive, ruthless, relentless, summary, punitive, authoritarian, despotic, tyrannical, arbitrary, repressive, iron-fisted
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Late 19th century: from the name of Draco(see Draco)+ -ian.