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time bomb

a bomb constructed so as to explode at a certain time.
a situation, condition, etc., resembling such a bomb in having disastrous consequences in the future.
Origin of time bomb
First recorded in 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for time bomb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The narrow escape with the time bomb had robbed him of his confidence in the crew.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • That left him in the same spot he'd been in with regard to the time bomb.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • Richter would have been the logical suspect were it not for the episode of the time bomb.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • I think that was a time bomb in the magazine, but I have a low and suspicious mind.

    Four-Day Planet Henry Beam Piper
  • Do you two mean to intimate that there is a time bomb, or some such infernal machine, aboard this ship?

  • It would be just like you to have set a time bomb somewhere in this submarine to blow her up after you were all safely out of her.

    Cappy Ricks Retires Peter B. Kyne
  • Despite his liking for Prochaska, Crag couldn't forget that he had failed to find the time bomb in a panel he had twice searched.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
British Dictionary definitions for time bomb

time bomb

a bomb containing a timing mechanism that determines the time at which it will detonate
a situation which, if allowed to continue, will develop into a serious problem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with time bomb

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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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