loose cannon

noun

Definition of loose cannon

: a dangerously uncontrollable person or thing

Examples of loose cannon in a Sentence

a politician who is regarded as a loose cannon by her colleagues

Recent Examples on the Web

Their mission goes off with only one tiny hitch: While in space, Jean is irradiated with some kind of strange cosmic energy, rendering her even more powerful – and, unfortunately, more of a loose cannon – than before. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: If it’s the final X-Men chapter, ‘Dark Phoenix’ is appropriately funereal," 7 June 2019 Their mission goes off with only one tiny hitch: While in space, Jean is irradiated with some kind of strange cosmic energy, rendering her even more powerful — and, unfortunately, more of a loose cannon — than before. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, "‘Dark Phoenix,’ X-Men’s probable swan song, is a dirge," 6 June 2019 In other words, when women act aggressively, they are seen as loose cannons, while men look passionate and continue to get work. Jessica Wakeman, Glamour, "Men Who Scream at Work Aren't "Passionate." They're Abusive.," 4 Sep. 2018 The old loose cannon, as he's known in political circles, was back. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Kanye West and Rudy Giuliani: The mouths that recklessly roared," 5 May 2018 Hernandez, who has long been a buff of Civil War history, is not a loose cannon. Dom Amore, courant.com, "He's Keith Hernandez ....And He's Got Stories," 8 June 2018 This new silent-but-deadly Teddy is yet another loose cannon on a show about an entire cast of characters going rogue. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "‘Westworld’ Episode 7 recap: 5 things to know about ‘Les Écorchés' and what lies beneath the surface," 4 June 2018 His best friend, Miles (Casal), is a classic loose cannon whose white working-class status gives him similar economic pressures but more room to behave as an angry wild card than Collin. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "'Hamilton' star's 'Blindspotting' reinvents buddy films in thrilling ride," 1 June 2018 After getting a whole season of ratings fireworks from its resident loose cannon, the network finally drew the line. Karla Peterson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rosanne Barr's new sitcom is canceled because of some old hate," 29 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of loose cannon

1889, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about loose cannon

Statistics for loose cannon

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loose cannon

The first known use of loose cannon was in 1889

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for loose cannon

loose cannon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of loose cannon

: a person who cannot be controlled and who does or says things that cause problems, embarrassment, etc., for others

More from Merriam-Webster on loose cannon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loose cannon

Comments on loose cannon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!