mailed fist

noun
1.
superior force, especially military force, when presented as a threat: The country showed its mailed fist in negotiations.
2.
brutal or naked power, especially coercive force: the mailed fist hidden in the velvet glove.

Origin:
1895–1900

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
And my sister contributed a cushion which she had embroidered with the family crest, a mailed fist brandishing a feather.
But this approach, a helping hand, will be far more effective than a mailed fist approach.
And the mailed fist of real authority never has to be shown.
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