sword of Damocles
Usage: often capitalized S Date: 1820 an impending disaster

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sword of Damocles — sword of Dam|o|cles [ ,sɔrd əv dæməkliz ] noun singular LITERARY something that is always present as a danger or threat to a person, place, or situation: The nuclear sword of Damocles hangs over the region by a thread …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sword of Damocles — UK [ˌsɔː(r)d əv ˈdæməkliːz] / US [ˌsɔrd əv ˈdæməklɪz] noun [singular] literary something that is always present as a danger or a threat to a person, place, or situation The nuclear sword of Damocles hangs over the region by a thread …   English dictionary

  • sword of Damocles — noun a constant and imminent peril the possibility hangs over their heads like the sword of Damocles • Hypernyms: ↑hazard, ↑jeopardy, ↑peril, ↑risk, ↑endangerment …   Useful english dictionary

  • sword of Damocles — sword′ of Dam′ocles n. cvb any situation threatening imminent harm or disaster • Etymology: 1810–20 …   From formal English to slang

  • sword of Damocles — noun an immediate threat or danger, especially in otherwise favourable circumstances. {from the Greek legend of Damocles} …   Australian English dictionary

  • sword of Damocles — [ daməkli:z] noun a precarious situation. Origin with ref. to Damocles, a courtier who praised the happiness of the Greek ruler Dionysius I so much that the king made him feast sitting under a sword suspended by a single hair to show him how… …   English new terms dictionary

  • sword of Damocles. — See Damocles (def. 2). [1810 20] * * * …   Universalium

  • sword of Damocles. — See Damocles (def. 2). [1810 20] …   Useful english dictionary

  • sword of Damocles — noun A thing or situation which causes a prolonged state of impending doom or misfortune …   Wiktionary

  • sword of Damocles — Synonyms and related words: bulldozing, chanciness, commination, criticalness, delicacy, denunciation, doubtfulness, dubiousness, empty threat, foreboding, hazardousness, idle threat, imminence, implied threat, insecurity, instability,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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