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time bomb

See more synonyms for time bomb on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a bomb constructed so as to explode at a certain time.
  2. a situation, condition, etc., resembling such a bomb in having disastrous consequences in the future.
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Origin of time bomb

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for time bomb

Historical Examples

  • "According to the time-bomb down below," repeated Mr. Conne, still sociably but with a keen, searching look.

    Tom Slade with the Colors

    Percy K. Fitzhugh


British Dictionary definitions for time bomb

time bomb

noun
  1. a bomb containing a timing mechanism that determines the time at which it will detonate
  2. a situation which, if allowed to continue, will develop into a serious problem
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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

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]

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