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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for time bomb
Historical Examples of time bomb
"According to the time-bomb down below," repeated Mr. Conne, still sociably but with a keen, searching look.
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Idioms and Phrases with 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.