Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Pandora's box

play
noun Pan·do·ra's box \pan-ˈdȯr-əz-\

Simple Definition of Pandora's box

  • : a source of many troubles : something that will lead to many problems

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of Pandora's box

  1. :  a prolific source of troubles

Did You Know?

The god Prometheus stole fire from heaven to give to the human race, which originally consisted only of men. To punish humanity, the other gods created the first woman, the beautiful Pandora. As a gift, Zeus gave her a box, which she was told never to open. However, as soon as he was out of sight she took off the lid, and out swarmed all the troubles of the world, never to be recaptured. Only Hope was left in the box, stuck under the lid. Anything that looks ordinary but may produce unpredictable harmful results can thus be called a Pandora's box.

Origin and Etymology of pandora's box

from the box, sent by the gods to Pandora, which she was forbidden to open and which loosed a swarm of evils upon humankind when she opened it out of curiosity


First Known Use: 1579


Learn More about pandora's box


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Pandora's box? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accomodate accommodate acommadate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ