circus


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three-ring circus

A chaotic situation, often one in which a lot of activity is occurring simultaneously. I felt like I was in a three-ring circus when I babysat my neighbor's three noisy, mischievous children. Without the boss around, the business quickly devolved into a three-ring circus.
See also: circus

bread and circuses

Things given or presented in an attempt to please (or at least distract) disgruntled people. The phrase comes from the Roman poet Juvenal. I really think this event is just bread and circuses to get us to stop protesting.
See also: and, bread, circus

like a three-ring circus

Totally chaotic, frenetic, and wild. I babysat my neighbor's two young children the other evening, and it was like a three-ring circus in there! The company has been like a three-ring circus without the boss around to keep things in order.
See also: circus, like

like a three-ring circus

Fig. chaotic; exciting and busy. Our household is like a three-ring circus on Monday mornings. This meeting is like a three-ring circus. Quiet down and listen!
See also: circus, like

three-ring circus

A situation of complete confusion, as in It was a three-ring circus, with the baby crying, the dog barking, both telephones ringing, and someone at the front door . This term alludes to a circus where three rings or arenas are featuring performances simultaneously. Perhaps invented by show business impresario P.T. Barnum, the term was extended to other confused situations by about 1900.
See also: circus

bread and circuses

People use bread and circuses to talk about a situation in which a government provides people with things which seem to make their lives more enjoyable in order to stop them complaining about important problems. He limited political dissent through a policy of bread and circuses backed up by a fearsome secret police. Our children and grandchildren will curse us for squandering their prosperity in exchange for today's bread and circuses. Note: This is a translation of a phrase in a satire by the Roman poet Juvenal. It refers to the fact that, in ancient Rome, the authorities provided the people with public amusements and food in order to prevent possible rebellion.
See also: and, bread, circus

a three-ring circus

AMERICAN
If you describe a situation as a three-ring circus, you mean there is a lot of noisy or confused activity. Grief was a private thing, not something to be turned into a three-ring circus by over-eager reporters. Cooking needn't be a three-ring circus of sweat and tears.
See also: circus

bread and circuses

material benefits and entertainment employed by rulers or political parties to keep the masses happy and docile.
Bread and circuses is a translation of the Latin phrase panem et circenses , which appeared in Juvenal's Satires, and which alludes to the Roman emperors' organization of grain handouts and gladiatorial games for the populace.
See also: and, bread, circus

a three-ring circus

1 a circus with three rings for simultaneous performances. 2 a public spectacle, especially one with little substance.
2 1998 Spectator Along the way, these meetings have lost all that might have made them worthwhile…and have turned into a travelling three-ring circus.
See also: circus

bread and circuses

Crowd-pleasers, events of popular appeal. The term dates from the Roman poet Juvenal’s Satires, in which he said, Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et Circenses (Two things only the people earnestly desire, bread and [the games of the] circuses). Although this expression has survived long enough into modern times to become a cliché, it appears to be dying out. However, in the 1990s a very successful Massachusetts chain of health-food stores called itself the Bread & Circus Wholefood Supermarkets.
See also: and, bread, circus

three-ring circus, a

An occasion of utter confusion. This late nineteenth-century Americanism alludes to a circus in which three rings or arenas are featuring performances at the same time. Possibly invented by P. T. Barnum, the epitome of American show business entrepreneurs, the term was transferred to other extravagant events and disorderly situations by about 1900. Rudyard Kipling used it in A Diversity of Creatures (1914): “I can see lots of things from here. It’s like a three-ring circus!”
References in periodicals archive ?
Their spokesman said: "The whole Xbox generation is starting to get out of their armchairs and into the circus. It is the only place you can take the whole family and everybody gets something out of it.
Bailey, who had a London circus, joined Barnum's Circus in 1881.
The Circus Feast will be kicked off on Thursday July 18 at 1pm with a fun procession through Bangor High Street by local schools Glancegin, Glanadda, Hirael and Faenol.
This weekend (May 25-26), a circus of acrobatics and dance is at the Oil Tank Park near the World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu ?
Arthur's collection of circus art and memorabilia, which is of national importance, is held by Tyne Wear Archives and currently features in anexhibition at the DiscoveryMuseum inNewcastle.
In 1945, a collective of Azerbaijani circus was organized, and it comprised of actors, who performed tricks in the circus and amateur participants with artistic skills.
The all-new 2018 season will feature a host of international circus stars from all over the world.
"We are a brand new circus with a modern twist on traditional circus to celebrate 250 years of circus," said Salvatore Sambino from the circus, which is touring the country.
Italy has one of the biggest circus industries in the world, with an estimated 100 circuses and 2,000 circus animals.
Millennials may have grown up and never attended the circus in person.
and Barnum & Bailey Circus, scheduled for May 21, 2017, in Uniondale, New York.
The tech-training institute Grand Circus is partnering with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) to provide eight weeks of front-end developer training in Detroit and Grand Rapids beginning in October.
The Circus Arts Conservatory Big Top will start rising June 19 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
A CIRCUS has been criticised by the RSPCA over its use of animals in performances.