definitions
  • synonyms

fat is in the fire, the

A course of action with inevitable bad consequences has begun; there's trouble ahead. For example, Now the fat's in the fire—the boss arrived early and will see we haven't even started work. This expression, with its allusion to fat dropping into a fire and causing a burst of flames, was already a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 collection.

RELATED CONTENT

The Truth Is In The X-FilesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
READ MORE

Nearby words

fat city, fat depot, fat embolism, fat farm, fat hen, fat is in the fire, the, fat lamb, fat lip, fat lot, fat man, fat meat
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.