time bomb


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a (ticking) time bomb

A person, thing, or situation that can at any moment cause much havoc or result in a disastrous outcome. I'm telling you, this dirty money we're using to finance the campaign is a ticking time bomb! If anyone were to investigate how we got it, we'd all go to jail! Jenny's attracted to men who exude an air of danger, and her new boyfriend seems like a time bomb.
See also: bomb, time

time bomb

A situation that threatens to have disastrous consequences at some future time, as in That departmental dispute is a time bomb just waiting to go off. This term alludes to an explosive device that is set to go off at a specific time. [First half of 1900s]
See also: bomb, time
References in periodicals archive ?
RETURN Lulu promoting her beauty range, Time Bomb, at Fenwick, Newcastle
The settlement "constitutes a time bomb that could destroy everything we have accomplished on the road to peace at any moment," he stressed.
"There's a ticking time bomb in the community and the issue of future provision for sufferers and carers is not being addressed," said Mr Billingham.
He described Lebanon's prisons as a "time bomb" waiting to explode and called for immediate attention by the authorities to this matter.
Carolyn Maloney said at a hearing that the "time bomb is ticking" for commercial real estate.
An unknown group telephoned bus owner Ram Shankar Mishra and told him that the time bomb was kept inside the bus.
Top 10 Ways to Defuse Your Congregational Time Bomb
Summary: Jordan's Queen Rania has warned that growing unemployment among Arab youth is a "ticking time bomb" that has to be defused before it causes unrest.
Pesticide exposure has long been a danger and studies have documented dangers to all levels of society, but what makes Pesticides: A Toxic Time Bomb in Our Midst so important for any college-level collection strong in health, safety, and agriculture as well as social issues is its comprehensive examination of pesticide use, its effects, and alternatives to pesticides.
And it's only slightly more farfetched than the more familiar ticking time bomb scenario, in which you must torture the suspect to save all those innocent people.
"Unless most member states do something serious about defusing the pension time bomb, it will go off in the hands of our children and grandchildren.
McCoy's insightful and nuanced article, "The Myth of the Ticking Time Bomb" (October issue).
"It's a [climate] time bomb waiting to go off," she says.
A report by the union organisation warned yesterday that industry and the Government had to defuse the" demographic time bomb" of an ageing workforce being forced out of jobs and on to benefits.