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Meaning of mailed fist

mailed' fist'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. superior force, esp. military force, when presented as a threat: The country showed its mailed fist in negotiations.
  2. brutal or naked power, esp. coercive force: the mailed fist hidden in the velvet glove.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.