rear its (ugly) head

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Related to rearing its head: in and of itself, fall short, be damned, give a shot, so much for, slink around, rearing up

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

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

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

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

rear its (ugly) head

(of an unpleasant matter) emerge; present itself.
See also: head, rear