sword of Damocles


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to sword of Damocles: Gordian knot

sword of Damocles

n.
Constant threat; imminent peril: "the Latin American debt, overhanging American banks like the sword of Damocles" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.).

[After Damocles.]

Sword of Damocles

n
(Classical Myth & Legend) a closely impending disaster
[see Damocles]

sword′ of Dam′ocles


n.
any situation threatening imminent harm or disaster.
[1810–20]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sword of Damocles - a constant and imminent peril; "the possibility hangs over their heads like the sword of Damocles"
endangerment, hazard, jeopardy, peril, risk - a source of danger; a possibility of incurring loss or misfortune; "drinking alcohol is a health hazard"

sword of Damocles

noun
One regarded as an imminent danger:
Idiom: clear and present danger.
Translations
épée de Damoclès
References in periodicals archive ?
We can live with the fact that most of what was Greek is now possessed by Turkey but we cannot accept the sword of Damocles in the hands of the settlers to be hanging over us with their lifetime guarantor power to divide us again, this time forever, by using direct or devious means, along with convincing a gullible world that Greeks cannot be trusted even when not bearing gifts.
More importantly, as a result of melting of glaciers due to global warming, a Sword of Damocles remains hanging over our heads in the shape of floods.
Fast forward a few years and you might start feeling that declaration is hanging over you like a sword of Damocles.
Maybe this ability was sharpened by his acute sense of the loss of two children and the sword of Damocles hanging over a third.
The recent report from civil servant Sir Bob Kerslake was very damning, and currently the threat of a possible breaking up is being held over Birmingham City Council like a Sword of Damocles, waiting to slice down should changes not be made.
We have seen draconian cuts in government spending causing widespread poverty, yet, like an economic Sword of Damocles hanging over us, we have been warned that worse is to come.
The biggest sword of Damocles over European equities is the risk of Russian military intervention in Ukraine to save the rebels of the self-styled ethnic Russian Donetsk People's Republic.
The judiciary, which has served as the stronghold protecting official ideology -- not the law and justice -- has long been the sword of Damocles hanging over politics and society.
Dai Davies, chief executive of Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) - Meat Promotion Wales, said: "It is not an exaggeration to say that the sword of Damocles is hanging over the beef industry.
President John Kennedy captured the gist of the matter 53 years ago, when he spoke about a "nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness.
This is not something that we want but these are people g g they we who have got a Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads - they do not know where they are going to be a couple of weeks hence.