I have come across it in a video. Here it goes:

With his harebrained schemes and asinine dealings with the gods, king Midas ruled the ancient kingdom of Phrygia with an uneven hand.

I have looked up the word uneven in some dictionaries, but still have difficulties understanding what it means in the sentence.

2 Answers 2


Not your fault, but you should have looked up evenhanded:

evenhanded adj
equitable, just - fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience; "equitable treatment of all citizens"; "an equitable distribution of gifts among the children" [TFD Online]

Often the term is used in its un-joined form "with an even hand." The example you cite turns the meaning on its head ("with an uneven hand") to suggest the exact opposite: something done unjustly.


It means he was not consistent in his application of laws and policies.

If he were to mediate a dispute between two citizens, and then mediate another similar dispute a year later, he might give two very different decisions.

Or one day he might decide that the kingdom was in danger of starvation and decree that all farmers must put aside some portion of their harvest for future use, and next month he might decide "ehh, that's too much work, never mind."

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