Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Exceedingly harsh; very severe: a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very severe, oppressive or strict.
  • adj. Of or resembling a dragon

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to Draco, a famous lawgiver of Athens, 621 b. c. Used especially in the phrase Draconian punishment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as Draconic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to Draco or his harsh code of laws

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

After Draco.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Athenian lawmaker Draco, known for making harsh laws.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin draco ("dragon")

Examples

  • BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews said he was dismayed by the decision, which he called "draconian."

    U.K. Stands by Airport-Sale Ruling

  • The report said Cosatu would also like to see the elections postponed to enable the scrapping of what he called draconian laws that restricted political activity and media coverage.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • GMB, Unison and Unite released a joint statement attacking BCBC Job Evaluation proposals, which they described as "draconian" and "seeking confrontation" with staff.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Democrats lashed out at Schwarzenegger for proposing what they called draconian cuts while refusing to hike taxes and coddling corporations, who are due to receive more than $2 billion in tax breaks in 2011.

    RSSMicro Search - Top News on RSS Feeds

  • The same critics have been making these claims about every previous attempt to rein in piracy, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that was called a draconian antipiracy measure at the time of its passage in 1998.

    Internet to Artists: Drop Dead

  • The crisis is then used as an excuse to bring in draconian measures to close the door to the most needy and vulnerable.

    The Ocean Lady: Rethinking “Illegal” Migration in Canada : Law is Cool

  • Dayton said he campaigned and was elected on a promise not to make spending cuts to a level he called "draconian."

    Vulnerable feel pinch of Minn. shutdown

  • Some may call it draconian, but i would rather know that i can walk around at night and not worry about getting flogged.

    Knife Crime « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • Laws passed by Labour have slipped in draconian powers for bin police to enter family homes.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • No wonder America's Muslim allies, who successfully countered (often in draconian ways) fundamentalist opposition to their rule throughout the 1980s and 1990s, have not yet leaped enthusiastically to answer Washington's long-standing request for help.

    The Gospel According to Osama Bin Laden

Comments

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  • A good example of why examples need to be clustered. All of the 'Dragons' examples should be under one larger heading, and all other examples under another 'English usage' heading. especially since the dicdefs don't list "evil creature spawned from Weis and Hickman's imagination" as an option.

    January 28, 2010

  • “…draconian anti-terrorism legislation.�? The “draconian�? seems redundant these days.

    May 19, 2008

  • That softens it! ;-)

    July 21, 2007

  • I always want this word to have some kind of fantasy component, probably confusing it with dragonian.

    July 21, 2007

  • See also draconic

    December 17, 2006