iron hand


Definition of iron hand

: stern or rigorous control ruled with an iron hand

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Other Words from iron hand

ironhanded \ ˈī(-​ə)rn-​ˈhan-​dəd How to pronounce iron hand (audio) \ adjective

Examples of iron hand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brutal crackdown that began late Sunday and lasted through the night followed a tense campaign that saw massive rallies against President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for 26 years. Yuras Karmanau, Star Tribune, "Police break up protests after Belarus presidential vote," 9 Aug. 2020 Lukashenko has run the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for more than a quarter century, showing little tolerance to dissent and extending his rule through votes the West has criticized as flawed. Washington Post, "Belarus leader boasts about US ties to bargain with Moscow," 4 Feb. 2020 The state’s senior political leadership has anyway been rendered completely powerless by the iron hand dealt by New Delhi. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "With an eerie calm, Kashmir watches the “Kashmirisation” of India," 9 Jan. 2020 John Bolton met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the nation of 10 million with an iron hand for a quarter century, showing little tolerance for dissent and independent media. Washington Post, "US national security adviser visits Belarus," 29 Aug. 2019 Not having mastered all Russian’s finer points didn’t keep Stalin from ruling the Soviet Union with a murderously effective iron hand. The Economist, "Why widely spoken languages have simpler grammar," 8 Aug. 2019 Like most white slave-owning women, Mary was directly involved in the cruel work of bending enslaved people to her will, ruling her 20 slaves with an iron hand and a tight fist. Marjoleine Kars, Washington Post, "Widow, slaveholder, mother of our first president," 25 July 2019 With college basketball now at a similar crossroads, the NCAA called on a commission, not an iron hand. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Does college basketball want the change it says it seeks?," 25 Apr. 2018 The Assad family ruled the country with an iron hand but largely abided by a de facto ceasefire with Israel, preferring that its terrorist allies do the direct fighting. Neri Zilber, Vox, "Israel and Iran’s escalating shadow war in Syria, explained," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iron hand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of iron hand

circa 1570, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for iron hand

Time Traveler

The first known use of iron hand was circa 1570

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Cite this Entry

“Iron hand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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