(of a law, punishment, etc.) extremely cruel and severe a call for draconian measures against drug-related crime Word Origin late 19th cent.: from the name of Draco (7th century BC), an Athenian legislator known for his severity + -ian.Extra examples The newspaper struggled to continue under the regime’s draconian censorship laws. There have been calls for draconian measures against drug-related crime. Trade unions regarded to draft legislation as draconian.