burning question, the

burning question

An important, and perhaps scandalous, question that requires an answer. If Fred lied about his alibi, then the burning question is: what is he trying to hide?
See also: burning, question

burning question

 and the burning question
Fig. a question whose answer is of great interest to everyone; a question that needs very much to be answered, as a fire needs to be extinguished. There's a burning question that needs to be answered: Why did you leave your wife of only one month?
See also: burning, question

burning question

An urgent or crucial issue under heated discussion. For example, Real estate taxes are always a burning question for the town leaders. This term has exact equivalents in French ( question brûlante) and German ( brennende Frage). [Mid-1800s]
See also: burning, question

burning question, the

A pressing, urgent, or crucial issue. The term comes from the nineteenth century and relates particularly to the discussion of important public issues. There are versions in French and German, but in English one of the best-known examples is Benjamin Disraeli’s use of it— “the burning question of the day”—in a speech in the House of Commons in 1873.
See also: burning