iron fist in a velvet glove


1. an uncompromising nature concealed by an unassuming appearance or disposition






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don't be fooled, he/she is an iron fist in a velvet glove

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This expression can be used as either a compliment or criticism. As a compliment, it can describe somebody whose outward timidity or weakness conceals an inner strength or fierce resolve, or somebody who combines likability with uncompromising decisiveness. As a criticism, it can describe somebody who feigns kindliness in order to exploit or deceive, or somebody who lets power and authority go to their head. It is used in both a social and professional setting.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Adam's wife. She may seem like a lovely person, but she's actually an iron fist in a velvet glove.
  2. When I was in danger I had to defend myself. People think I'm weak but I'm an iron fist in a velvet glove.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. I always thought Richard was a great guy, but as soon as he was put in a management position he proved to be an iron fist in a velvet glove.
  2. Don't be fooled by her timidity in the interview - Sarah is an iron fist in a velvet glove. She is genuinely one of the most focused, determined people in the company.

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