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See also: heavyhanded


Alternative forms[edit]


From heavy +‎ hand +‎ -ed, literally having a heavy hand. Compare Middle English hevitime, heviteme (burdensome, grievous, grave), from Old English hefiġtīme, hefiġtȳme (grievous, wearisome, tedious, troublesome).


heavy-handed (comparative more heavy-handed, superlative most heavy-handed)

  1. (derogatory) Clumsy, awkward.
    • 2012, Margaret Powell, The Downstairs Cookbook, →ISBN:
      Some people say, 'I can't make pastry, I'm too heavy-handed.'
  2. Excessive, overdone.
    • 2015, Suzanne Lenzer, Truly Madly Pizza, →ISBN:
      However, recently I got a little heavy-handed with the red pepper flakes.
    Do not be too heavy-handed with the salt.
  3. (derogatory) Lacking subtlety or nuance.
    • 2005, Nicholas Rombes, The Ramones' Ramones, →ISBN:
      ...punk “music has been, and still is, one of the most heavy-handed genres of music there is. Unfortunately the topics of such heavy-handed songs are almost always seeped in left wing propaganda, bumper sticker rallying calls and oversimplifications of otherwise complex topics."
  4. (derogatory) Overbearing, coercive; unnecessarily forceful; harsh, oppressive.
    • 2014, Jayne Ann Krentz, River Road, →ISBN:
      Heavy-handed, huh? Is that by any chance your way of telling me that I'm a bad communicator?" "No, it's my way of telling you that you obviously haven't shaken the take-charge attitude."
    • 2015, John D. Visconti, Fetch More Dollars For Your Dog Training Business, →ISBN:
      I cite how ineffective heavy-handed training methods are due to the physiological state of high arousal and avoidance behaviors they cause in dogs.
    • 2020 January 6, Raymond Zhong, “Awash in Disinformation Before Vote, Taiwan Points Finger at China”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2020-01-06, Technology‎[2]:
      Polls suggest, however, that Beijing’s heavy-handed ways might be backfiring and driving voters to embrace Ms. Tsai. Thousands of Taiwan citizens marched last month against “red media,” or local news organizations supposedly influenced by the Chinese government.
    • 2020 April 22, “Network News: BTP chief pays tribute to rail staff and BTP officers”, in Rail, page 10:
      Crowther also distanced the BTP from the heavy-handed approach to the lockdown that other police forces have been accused in the national media of taking.


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