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velvet glove

an outwardly gentle or friendly manner used to disguise one's firm or ruthless determination. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for velvet glove
Historical Examples
  • He's hardened—or, if he was always hard, he doesn't care any longer whether he wears the velvet glove or not.

    A Hoosier Chronicle Meredith Nicholson
  • He could protrude a feline set of claws from his velvet glove.

  • While it lasted we literally and constantly meet with the “iron hand under the velvet glove.”

    Armour in England J. Starkie Gardner
  • The iron hand should fitly be concealed beneath the velvet glove.

    Big Timber Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • Over the steel hand of sleepless selfishness John drew the velvet glove of good manners and nice speech.

    The Torch and Other Tales Eden Phillpotts
  • Therein lies the secret of all power: the velvet glove and the iron hand may be an old saying, but it is a truth never old.

  • And he struck the right hand that was covered with the velvet glove with cruel violence on to the oaken table.

  • Colonel Selborne understood Japanese methods well enough to know there was a hand of iron under the velvet glove.

    The North Pacific Willis Boyd Allen
  • The tone was almost trifling in its lightness, but Alan Hawke recognized the hand of iron in the velvet glove.

    A Fascinating Traitor Richard Henry Savage
  • With what velvet glove of every humility has He not covered the iron hand of omnipotence!

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda

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