light the fuse(redirected from lights the fuse)
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light the fuse
To do something that instigates or initiates some intense, dangerous, and widespread action or reaction. Many have accused the leader of lighting the fuse for war with his inflammatory remarks. The law seems poised to light the fuse for protests across the nation should it be passed.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
light the fuse
If someone or something lights the fuse, they do something which starts something dangerous or exciting. An outbreak of the virus could light the fuse on the world's next pandemic. This event might have lit the fuse which later led to a depressive breakdown. Note: The fuse referred to here is the type that is used to set off a firework or explosive device.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
light the (or a) fuse (or touchpaper)do something that creates a tense or exciting situation.
The image here is of lighting a fuse attached to gunpowder, fireworks, etc. in order to cause an explosion. A touchpaper , which is used in the same way as a fuse, is a twist of paper impregnated with saltpetre to make it burn slowly.
1998 Times The rejection of global capitalism may light a touchpaper in all those countries battered by the crisis.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017