Damocles


Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Dam·o·cles

 (dăm′ə-klēz′) fl. fourth century bc.
Greek courtier to Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, who according to legend was forced to sit at a banquet table under a sword suspended by a single hair to demonstrate the precariousness of a king's fortunes.

Damocles

(ˈdæməˌkliːz)
n
(Classical Myth & Legend) classical myth a sycophant forced by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, to sit under a sword suspended by a hair to demonstrate that being a king was not the happy state Damocles had said it was. See also Sword of Damocles
ˌDamoˈclean adj

Dam•o•cles

(ˈdæm əˌkliz)

n.
a flatterer of classical legend who, having extolled the happiness of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, was seated at a banquet with a sword suspended over his head by a single hair to show him the perilous nature of that happiness.
Compare sword of Damocles.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Damocles - the Greek courtier to Dionysius the Elder who (according to legend) was condemned to sit under a naked sword that was suspended by a hair in order to demonstrate to him that being a king was not the happy state Damocles had said it was (4th century BC)
Translations

Damocles

[ˈdæməkliːz] NDamocles

Damocles

[ˈdæməkliːz] nDamoclès m Sword of Damocles

Damocles

n sword of DamoclesDamoklesschwert nt
References in classic literature ?
Damocles has seen the sword suspended by a hair over his head, and though a good man need not be made less valuable by such a knowledge, the feast shall not henceforth have the same flavour.
The ribs were hung with trophies; the vertebrae were carved with Arsacidean annals, in strange hieroglyphics; in the skull, the priests kept up an unextinguished aromatic flame, so that the mystic head again sent forth its vapory spout; while, suspended from a bough, the terrific lower jaw vibrated over all the devotees, like the hair-hung sword that so affrighted damocles.
And let us, my brethren who have not our names in the Red Book, console ourselves by thinking comfortably how miserable our betters may be, and that Damocles, who sits on satin cushions and is served on gold plate, has an awful sword hanging over his head in the shape of a bailiff, or an hereditary disease, or a family secret, which peeps out every now and then from the embroidered arras in a ghastly manner, and will be sure to drop one day or the other in the right place.
Like Damocles at his celebrated banquet, Rebecca perpetually beheld, amid that gorgeous display, the sword which was suspended over the heads of her people by a single hair.
Mrs Smith is the sword of Damocles hanging over his head.
We are being asked to finance a game in the long-term with investment into improving stadiums and crowds, but every club in the Premiership has the sword of Damocles hanging over them; next year, we can be out.
She likened the disease to a sword of Damocles hanging over her family and said to be able to eliminate that risk was priceless.
What's Good is an enjoyable opener, with its list-like lyrics and sharp observations before Sword of Damocles showcases Lou's cheery side.
They warned Don: "The sword of Damocles is hanging over your head.
Which suspended object was the legendary figure Damocles forced to sit under?
Nato's Jamie Shea said a sword of Damocles was hanging over Milosevic's head.
Producer lack of confidence is hanging over the industry like the Sword of Damocles.