Damocles

[ dam-uh-kleez ]
/ ˈdæm əˌkliz /

noun

a flatterer 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.

Idioms

    sword of Damocles, any situation threatening imminent harm or disaster.

Related forms

Dam·o·cle·an [dam-uh-klee-uh n] /ˌdæm əˈkli ən/, adjective
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Examples from the Web for damocles

British Dictionary definitions for damocles

Damocles

/ (ˈdæməˌkliːz) /

noun

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 wasSee also Sword of Damocles

Derived Forms

Damoclean, adjective
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