hornet's nest


Definition of hornet's nest

1 : a troublesome or hazardous situation
2 : an angry reaction must have known that his frank comments … would stir up a hornet's nestU.S. Investor

Examples of hornet's nest in a Sentence

The principal entered the hornet's nest of angry parents. His comments stirred up a hornet's nest of angry opposition and criticism.

Recent Examples on the Web

But the attempt to kick out KairosPDX charter school was a political hornet's nest. Bethany Barnes, OregonLive.com, "Complaint: Access Academy students who need alternative education given short shrift," 26 Apr. 2018 An order by Trump to revisit how the land is used has been like poking a hornet's nest with a stick. latimes.com, "Today: McMaster and Commander in Chief," 16 Mar. 2018 Lawmakers are navigating a hornet's nest of competing issues and egos. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "4 big questions Congress must answer before it can end this shutdown," 22 Jan. 2018 New Athletic Director Andy Lambert, who was hired in March, likened his arrival at Lake Zurich High School to walking into a hornet's nest. Phil Rockrohr, chicagotribune.com, "Year in Review: Hazing scandal, referendum and controversial fitness center in Lake Zurich," 26 Dec. 2017 Theirs is an unlikely prize: a heavy, knotted chunk of rust-red wood, nestled near the base of older trees and reminiscent of a large hornet's nest. Lyndsie Bourgon, Smithsonian, "How Forest Forensics Could Prevent the Theft of Ancient Trees," 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hornet's nest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hornet's nest

circa 1740, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hornet's nest was circa 1740

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hornet's nest


English Language Learners Definition of hornet's nest

: a situation or place in which there are many dangers
: an angry reaction

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


to deny responsibility for

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