Definition of dead hand in English:

dead hand

Pronunciation /ˌded ˈhand/ /ˌdɛd ˈhænd/


  • An undesirable persisting influence.

    ‘the dead hand of government control’
    • ‘What seems to have happened subsequently, is that the dead hand of Treasury control has fallen on the arts, subjecting it to the same criteria that it applies to every other branch of public spending.’
    • ‘Stalin came to realise that political control was a dead hand on the army and cut it back sharply in the autumn of 1942.’
    • ‘The dead hand of behaviorism still deforms the study of consciousness.’
    • ‘"The dead hand of crony capitalism still clings tenaciously to power," Mr. Lindsey writes.’
    • ‘In this way, they could institutionalize the dead hand of formalism and the fetishism of authority, so as to stifle the process of discovery.’
    • ‘Yes, but the time will come when the hand of the present will in the future be the dead hand of the past.’
    • ‘It is these associations which transform it constantly, not the dead hand of legislation imposed from the centre.’
    • ‘Most are part of large chains, and there's something about the dead hand of corporate planning that makes even brand-new properties seem a little dull.’
    • ‘The only thing that is as sure as the dead hand of business on the government's policy agenda is the realization that this cannot last.’
    • ‘The erosion of a nation can easily proceed hand-in-hand with the cancerous bloat of its government: just look at the suffocation of Russia under the dead hand of the Soviet state.’
    • ‘A curious and contradictory figure, yet one of the greatest French painters of the 19th century, Ingres has often been described as the prime representative of the dead hand of academicism.’
    • ‘It saw the dead hand of ‘political correctness’ everywhere, and it called for a uniform, statewide general education curriculum.’
    • ‘Civil servants fear the dead hand of the Department of Finance, which is choking the momentum and enthusiasm that fuelled the self-belief and progress achieved in the past decade.’
    • ‘As the council's report points out, scientists are at liberty to explore, experiment, and innovate largely unburdened by the dead hand of government.’
    • ‘China was seen as still struggling to escape the dead hand of communist economics, too inward-looking to be a real threat to its neighbors.’
    • ‘Eventually it sounds downright lugubrious, a dead hand which ultimately presses the life out of these fragile creations.’
    • ‘What might be called the dead hand of the Church organist and the academician has lain heavily over music in this country for a great many years.’
    • ‘To think otherwise might well be to allow the dead hand of the past to govern the affairs of today.’
    • ‘Capitalist broadcasting could bring innovation where previously there had been the dead hand of a monopoly.’
    • ‘We have tried to negotiate but in every department we have come up against the dead hand of the Treasury.’