Pandora's box


noun

a source of extensive but unforeseen troubles or problems: The senate investigation turned out to be a Pandora's box for the administration.

QUIZZES

BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!

Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?

Origin of Pandora's box

First recorded in 1570–80

Words nearby Pandora's box

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Cultural definitions for Pandora's box

Pandora's box

In classical mythology, a box that Zeus gave to Pandora, the first woman, with strict instructions that she not open it. Pandora's curiosity soon got the better of her, and she opened the box. All the evils and miseries of the world flew out to afflict mankind.

notes for Pandora's box

To “open a Pandora's box” is to create an uncontrollable situation that will cause great grief.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with Pandora's box

Pandora's box

A source of unforeseen trouble, as in Revising the tax code is opening a Pandora's box. This equivalent for the modern can of worms comes from the Greek legend in which Pandora, entrusted with a box containing the world's ills, is overcome by curiosity and opens it, thereby releasing them. [Late 1500s]

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