rear its (ugly) head

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rear its (ugly) head

Of a difficult, unpleasant problem, to present itself and force people to deal with it. Fundamentalist extremism has been rearing its head all around the world over the last couple years. I can't believe tax day is already rearing its ugly head again.
See also: head, rear
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rear its ugly head

Fig. [for something unpleasant] to appear or become obvious after lying hidden. Jealousy reared its ugly head and destroyed their marriage. The question of money always rears its ugly head in matters of business.
See also: head, rear, ugly
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

rear its ugly head

Appear. This phrase is used only of something undesirable or unpleasant, as in The interview went very well until a question about his academic record reared its ugly head . This expression was first recorded in slightly different form in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers (1857): "Rebellion had already reared her hideous head."
See also: head, rear, ugly
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

rear its head

or

raise its head

COMMON If something unpleasant rears its head or raises its head, it starts to appear or be active, often when it had stopped or been hidden for a period. Now the same ugly forces of racial hatred are beginning to rear their heads again. The familiar pattern of violence is raising its head once again in the region. Note: People often say that something unpleasant rears or raises its ugly head. We will not allow hooliganism to rear its ugly head again.
See also: head, rear
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rear its (ugly) head

(of an unpleasant matter) emerge; present itself.
See also: head, rear
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

rear/raise its (ugly) ˈhead

(used of something considered unpleasant) appear again after being hidden or forgotten: Political corruption has reared its ugly head again.Famine has raised its head again in many parts of the world.
See also: head, raise, rear
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The long-running debate about summer football for Welsh Premier League clubs is rearing its head again after a series of disastrous results in European football.
Aha, this is dear old vanity publishing rearing its head again.
Not only that, but also the importance of IP as an I/O pipe is rearing its head.
'If terrorism is rearing its head again and unemployment is increasing today, it is not Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's fault, but the outcome of the July 28 judgement, which created chaos in the country,' he declared, referring to the verdict that led to his disqualification.
Ann Fleming, spokes-person for the HPU, said: "Mumps is rearing its head again all around the country among people who are university age because some of them didn't have access to the MMR vaccination when young.
"With 'Rip Off Britain' rearing its head again in consumers' minds, they probably need all the help they can get when it comes to buying a new car, " said Andrew Lindsay, marketing manager for car loans, Marks & Spencer Financial Services.