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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
1895-1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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