Definition of iron-fisted in US English:


(also iron-handed)


  • Exercising power in an oppressive or controlling way.

    ‘an iron-fisted leader intolerant of opposing political views’
    See also "an iron fist in a velvet glove"
    ‘decades of iron-fisted rule’
    • ‘The government is relaxing its iron-fisted control of the economy.’
    • ‘The play also centres on an iron-fisted leader intolerant of opposing political views.’
    • ‘Ever mindful of the need to preserve its iron-fisted rule, the leadership knows it must be sensitive to public opinion.’
    • ‘As his career progressed his films became more and more laden with lightning-fast editing, multiple story lines, razor-witted dialogue and iron-handed symbolism.’
    • ‘We need some of their traditional ruthless, relentless, iron-fisted spirit.’
    • ‘Babcock demands his players give a full effort each night, but the players don't chafe at his iron-handed style.’
    • ‘Military coup after military coup toppled government after government before the current iron-fisted regime figured out how to hold it together.’
    • ‘Binoche - who's made a brilliant career out of playing tragic, porcelain women in the past - is refreshingly iron-fisted this time around.’
    • ‘Nations under the iron-handed control of dictators have been getting ever closer to being able to produce their own nukes.’
    • ‘As he tries to maintain an iron-fisted grip on his country, he's faced with a youthful, Western-looking movement that is gaining international attention and support.’