Damocles' sword

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Damocles' sword

Any imminent, impending, or eventual trouble, danger, or disaster. In Greek mythology, the courtier Damocles was forced to sit beneath a sword suspended by a single hair to emphasize the instability of a king's fortunes. The threat of war has hung over the region like Damocles' sword for nearly a decade. Many businesses view the new tax law as a Damocles' sword hanging over their heads.
See also: sword
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
And the dengue threat-which is increasing every year-hangs like Damocles's sword over each Filipino's head.
The juxtaposition of the casual and the sublime is intriguing: a golden key opens Dante's dark forest; market vegetables become one of Cezanne's still life paintings; Damocles's sword looms over cherry blossoms; Hans Christian Andersen's sleepless princess writes the tale of her sister, the little match girl.
The Rio summiteers went home subdued but not sensing a Damocles's sword hanging over their heads.
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