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Draconian

[drey-koh-nee-uh n, druh-] /dreɪˈkoʊ ni ən, drə-/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or characteristic of the Athenian statesman Draco, or his severe code of laws.
2.
(often lowercase) rigorous; unusually severe or cruel:
Draconian forms of punishment.
Also, Draconic.
Origin of Draconian
1810-1820
1810-20; < Latin Dracōn- (stem of Draco) + -ian
Related forms
Draconianism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Draconian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After binding the Jew hand and foot by these Draconian regulations there was indeed no necessity for further insulting him.

  • There were, however, some exceptions even to this Draconian system.

  • It was certainly impossible for him to join them when he had not yet learned about the Draconian reforms.

  • To walk these two miles per diem is a Draconian law which I impose upon myself during all seasons of the year.

    The Arena Various
  • He read the sentence through three times, and then recollected that he had not looked up the Draconian reforms.

British Dictionary definitions for Draconian

draconian

/dreɪˈkəʊnɪən/
adjective (sometimes capital)
1.
of or relating to Draco, 7th-century Athenian statesman and lawmaker, or his code of laws, which prescribed death for almost every offence
2.
harsh: draconian legislation
Derived Forms
draconianism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Draconian

draconian

adj.

1876 (earlier Draconic, implied from 1640s), from Draco, Greek statesman who laid down a code of laws for Athens 621 B.C.E. that mandated death as punishment for minor crimes. His name seems to mean literally "sharp-sighted" (see dragon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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