the dust settles

the dust settles

1. Literally, the dust stirred up by some activity is no longer in the air. The phrase is often preceded by "when" or "after." We should only start painting when the dust settles after construction is finished.
2. Things return to normal after a period of excitement, a high level of activity, etc. The phrase is often preceded by "when" or "after." I promise to take you to the park after the dust settles and work isn't so hectic.
See also: dust, settle

the dust settles

or

the dust clears

COMMON If the dust settles or the dust clears after an argument, a problem or a big change, the situation becomes calmer. Now that the dust has settled, it is clear that nothing much has changed. When the dust cleared from Tuesday's election, Washington state found itself leading the nation in the number of women elected.
See also: dust, settle

the dust settles

things quieten down.
1998 New Scientist The dust is settling on the chaos which ensued when the French sold 110,000 tickets to the World Cup football matches by phone.
See also: dust, settle
References in periodicals archive ?
When the dust settles and this once in a lifetime event has passed, can we please have a safe crossing point on Sycamore Avenue in Golcar.
NORTH East Liberal Democrats have vowed to "listen and work hard" as the dust settles on a disappointing EU poll.
When the dust settles, we'll have to take that from the games.
Obviously when the dust settles and you have time to think about it then we're going to think of it being a good point, but now it doesn't feel like that, it's a bitter pill to swallow.
Andrews prepares to release Part II of his Hollywood story When The Dust Settles - I Am Still Standing.
But when the dust settles there well may be a deal to be done, perhaps for next season.
But as the dust settles on their short stay in the Championship, minds have already turned to how they avoid a swift return with the huge spending power they once enjoyed now a thing of the past.
Racing boss Con Baker explained: "We have quite a few potential runners booked in for trials on Wednesday, and it seemed a much better option to leave the entries until the next day to see how the dust settles, so to speak.
But as the dust settles those who''ve been fighting will have to work together to best represent our students.
AS the dust settles on the shocking departure of Paula Abdul, 47, from next season's American Idol, now comes confirmation from Victoria Beckham's publicist that the former Posh Spice, 35, will make a 'one-off appearance' as a guest judge on the top-rated show followed by thousands of viewers in Bahrain.
Stirring the Pot says the expenses row will have consequences: "Once the dust settles decent politicians will say enough is enough and we'll have a batch of new MPs too busy finding their feet to get anything done.
As the dust settles on a bitterly disappointing end to Cardiff's season, Vince Alm sums up his mood on the season - and that finish "AFTER the game there was obviously bitter disappointment and a lot of anger.
Once the dust settles, currency trajectories are expected to follow relative growth paths.
IT will take a long time before the dust settles on the events on Wearside last Saturday.
THE powers that be at the Irish FA will be happy that it's been a pretty quiet week as the dust settles on the sacking of Howard Wells.