tempest

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a tempest in a teakettle

A disproportionate reaction of anger, concern, or displeasure over some minor or trivial matter. (A less common variant of "a tempest in a teacup/teapot.") If you ask me, these protests are nothing but a tempest in a teakettle that's been stoked by a media campaign of misinformation. I really think you're making a tempest in a teakettle over this. It's just a tiny scratch on the car!
See also: teakettle, tempest

tempest in a teacup

 and tempest in a teapot
an argument or disagreement over a very minor matter. The entire issue of who was to present the report was just a tempest in a teapot. The argument at the office turned into a tempest in a teacup. No one really cared about the outcome.
See also: teacup, tempest

a tempest in a teapot

  (American)
a situation where people get very angry or worried about something that is not important (not used with the ) The whole affair is just a tempest in a teapot. In a couple of months everyone will have forgotten about it.
See also: teapot, tempest

tempest in a teapot

Also, tempest in a teacup. A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance. For example, All that because a handful of the thousand invited guests didn't show up? What a tempest in a teapot! This expression has appeared in slightly different forms for more than 300 years. Among the variations are storm in a cream bowl, tempest in a glass of water, and storm in a hand-wash basin. The British prefer storm in a teacup. The current American forms were first recorded in 1854. For a synonym, see much ado about nothing.
See also: teapot, tempest

tempest in a

teacup/teapot
A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance.
See also: tempest
References in classic literature ?
Then I turned to look; through the rush of the tempest and the reek of the rain, still I could see her sweeping forward high in air.
Four days in hell, knocking about in a sort of malestrom, and the wind a tempest.
Dantes ran down the rocks at the risk of being himself dashed to pieces; he listened, he groped about, but he heard and saw nothing -- the cries had ceased, and the tempest continued to rage.
I shrieked, upstarting-- "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore
And so she drove her motor forward again and then with her firm, white teeth set in grim determination she drove the steering lever far down to port with the intention of forcing the nose of her craft straight into the teeth of the wind, and the wind seized the frail thing and toppled it over upon its back, and twisted and turned it and hurled it over and over; the propellor raced for an instant in an air pocket and then the tempest seized it again and twisted it from its shaft, leaving the girl helpless upon an unmanageable atom that rose and fell, and rolled and tumbled--the sport of the elements she had defied.
There had been no abatement in the ferocity of the tempest, nor was there indication of any.
We can only assume that she decided to fly before the morning meal and was caught in the clutches of the tempest.
Hours passed with no other sounds than those of the rapidly waning tempest.
Mechanically he squatted on his haunches with his back against it, and there, in the midst of the fury of the storm he conquered the tempest that raged in his own breast.
On the next day, and the next, the tempest still raged--and the passengers were not able to leave their state-rooms.
The surface wind was blowing a tempest from the west.
All these defects have been remedied in later models; but the knowledge did not help us any that day aboard the slowly settling Coldwater, with an angry sea roaring beneath, a tempest raging out of the west, and 30d only a few knots astern.
There came many days when fields and shores were dim with misty rain, or shivering before the breath of a melancholy sea-wind--nights, too, of storm and tempest, when Anne sometimes wakened to pray that no ship might be beating up the grim north shore, for if it were so not even the great, faithful light whirling through the darkness unafraid, could avail to guide it into safe haven.
Instantly the vast assemblage, as with one accord, struck up the national hymn of the United States, and "Yankee Doodle," sung by five million of hearty throats, rose like a roaring tempest to the farthest limits of the atmosphere.
One evening a fearful tempest arose, it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in torrents: besides, it was as dark as pitch.