hornet's nest


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

Example Sentences

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 The first Asian giant hornet's nest of the year was eradicated late last month in rural Whatcom County. Jenn Selva, CNN, 12 Sep. 2021 If diplomacy fails, the use of military force looms as the only other option--a hornet's nest that even Trump dared not stir. The St. Louis Post-dispatch, Arkansas Online, 23 June 2021 The first murder hornet's nest was discovered in a tree and destroyed in late October in the town of Blaine in Whatcom County, located along the Canadian border. Fox News, 11 Nov. 2020 With its lease on life extended another year, the modernizing committee is looking into issues that could rile up the hornet's nest. Author: Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Dec. 2019 But the attempt to kick out KairosPDX charter school was a political hornet's nest. Bethany Barnes, OregonLive.com, 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, 16 Mar. 2018 Lawmakers are navigating a hornet's nest of competing issues and egos. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, 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, 26 Dec. 2017 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1740, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hornet's nest

Cite this Entry

“Hornet's nest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornet%27s%20nest. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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