heavy-hand·​ed ˈhe-vē-ˈhan-dəd How to pronounce heavy-handed (audio)
heavy-handedly adverb
heavy-handedness noun

Examples of heavy-handed in a Sentence

the new manager's heavy-handed approach soon had employees turning in their letters of resignation felt heavy-handed and awkward when holding the newborn infant
Recent Examples on the Web But in recent years, Hamas was not very popular among Palestinians and especially Gazans, who bristled under Hamas’ heavy-handed rule. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 The Chinese government has never apologized for the massacre and continues to reject any calls for an investigation into the heavy-handed overreaction – and in that time, China has further enmeshed itself in global politics. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 4 June 2024 His heavy-handed management style led to Brian firing him as the band’s manager at the peak of their career in 1964 — causing a rift between father and his three sons that would never be fully healed. Jordan Runtagh, Peoplemag, 1 June 2024 Opponents consider the bill a heavy-handed attempt to stifle media freedom and muzzle civil society, and have staged months of massive street protests to try to block the measure. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2024 Unfortunately, the University of Virginia is not unique in its heavy-handed response to what have been largely peaceful anti-war protests. Nisha Whitehead, Orange County Register, 22 May 2024 Dayana talks about being treated like an animal by Elias, and with the donkeys and goat and chickens always around in the motel yard, that metaphor feels heavy-handed. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 May 2024 The militants' substantial armaments led to a heavy-handed military response, which included the use of artillery. Breana Scheckwitz, Fox News, 22 May 2024 Its heavy-handed response to quell protests probably further fueled their anger. Armstrong Williams, Baltimore Sun, 6 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heavy-handed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of heavy-handed was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near heavy-handed

Cite this Entry

“Heavy-handed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heavy-handed. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: severe or harsh in dealing with others

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