thrown to the lions


Figuratively, to be thrown to the lions is to be placed in a difficult situation for which one is completely unprepared: “To put that new teacher in front of those unruly students is to throw her to the lions.” During the Roman persecutions, Christians (see also Christian) were thrown to the lions in the Colosseum.

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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.