hornets' nest


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hor·nets' nest

 (hôr′nĭts)
n.
A violent or highly contentious situation: "such diplomatic hornets' nests as [the] expulsion of Asians from Uganda" (Christian Science Monitor).
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hornets' nest - a highly contentious or hazardous situation; "talk of invading Iraq stirred up a political hornets' nest"
situation - a complex or critical or unusual difficulty; "the dangerous situation developed suddenly"; "that's quite a situation"; "no human situation is simple"
2.hornets' nest - habitation for wasps or hornetshornets' nest - habitation for wasps or hornets  
nidus - a nest in which spiders or insects deposit their eggs

hornets' nest

noun
A situation that presents difficulty, uncertainty, or perplexity:
Informal: can of worms.
References in classic literature ?
I hadn't minded her mill that morning, on account of having that hornets' nest of other troubles; but more than once in the afternoon I had to say:
No sooner had Metak so unwarily opened the door to this hornets' nest than he immediately withdrew and, turning, fled again in a new direction.
Let us look,' said the lama, and he led from the white road across the fields; walking into a very hornets' nest of pariah dogs.
They alerted DEFRA, which set up a three-mile surveillance zone around the site, eventually locating and destroying the hornets' nest.
The course will include props such as animatronic creatures, a potting shed, hornets' nest, mushrooms and a wooden bridge.
THE first Asian hornets' nest found in Britain has been destroyed after an invasion of the insects which threaten bees.
Tamsin Harman was walking Reggie, her cavalier King Charles spaniel, in woods off Stuart Place when he discovered something interesting to sniff - a hornets' nest.
It seems to me the master plan of invading Iraq in 2003, by the allies, has not only removed Saddam Hussein, but it has stirred up an hornets' nest.
Ferguson, Dingwall CHRIS Hoy said he didn't wish to comment on independence because it would open a hornets' nest.
To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest from Momentum Pictures, one lucky reader will win an iPod Touch and MacBook Pro.
Unstoppable 12A, 98mins The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest 15, 147 mins WHENEVER you see the name Scott in the slot marked director, you just have to cross your fingers and hope it's preceded by Ridley, rather than Tony.