Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Clumsy; awkward.
  • adjective Tactless; indiscreet.
  • adjective Oppressive; harsh.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Clumsy; awkward; not dexterous.
  • Oppressive; downbearing: as, heavy-handed tyranny.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective same as ham-fisted.
  • adjective unjustly harsh or domineering.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Clumsy, awkward; hence, excessive.
  • adjective Extreme; unnecessarily forceful.

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

  • adjective unjustly domineering
  • adjective lacking physical movement skills, especially with the hands

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Under that threat, the two sides quickly reached a settlement, though the union was furious with what it called heavy-handed government action.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Gym users given runaround on fees, with refusal to give pricing plans over the phone GYMS are forcing prospective members to book appointments before revealing prices in what has been called a heavy-handed attempt to lock in contracts.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • Those regulations - which the province credits for cutting booze-related motor fatalities nearly in half since they came into effect - have been called heavy-handed and potentially unconstitutional.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Those regulations - which the province credits for cutting booze-related motor fatalities nearly in half since they came into effect - have been called heavy-handed and potentially unconstitutional.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • In the U.S., there was some heavy-handed censorship but far more willing submission by the press itself.

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • Three decades later, French novelist Pierre Boulle published "Planet of the Apes," whose heavy-handed satire (the apes drive cars and drink in nightclubs) inspired an American franchise of action movies.

    "Lucy," a half-ape/half-human thriller by Laurence Gonzales

  • That particular event was the most disappointing part of the book for me, because I got the feeling it was going to happen before it did, and I found it a little heavy-handed and cliched.

    *Solanin — Recommended » Manga Worth Reading

  • A former chief economist at the World Bank offers a case study in how heavy-handed interference can break what doesn't need fixing

    The Quiet Coup

  • Hamid Karzai has in the past reacted angrily to what he regards as heavy-handed anti-corruption efforts by the United States and has even threatened to join the Taliban if foreigners do not stop meddling.

    Karzai's brother might be indicted for evading U.S. taxes

  • Three decades later, French novelist Pierre Boulle published "Planet of the Apes," whose heavy-handed satire (the apes drive cars and drink in nightclubs) inspired an American franchise of action movies.

    "Lucy," a half-ape/half-human thriller by Laurence Gonzales

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