loose cannon


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 Gordon-Levitt, who plays precisely the kind of noble loose cannon that Bruce Willis would have played a couple of decades ago, is the irreverent but amiable audience surrogate. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Jamie Foxx in New Orleans-shot ‘Project Power’ will make you miss going to the movies," 12 Aug. 2020 Echo is a bit of a loose cannon these days as well. Dalene Rovenstine, EW.com, "The 100 recap: Indra must make a choice," 25 June 2020 That person might be Frank Jr. who is a loose cannon. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "Ozark Season 3 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-10," 30 Mar. 2020 Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser (not pictured): the loose cannonKushner, a presidential adviser and the husband of Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, has sown chaos by creating an independent White House coronavirus team. Lev Facher, STAT, "‘A number of new stars’: The definitive guide to the Trump administration’s coronavirus response team," 20 Mar. 2020 Whereas Locken was once a lovable loose cannon on the first three seasons, the fourth season turned her into a villain. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "What’s next for LeeAnne Locken, the controversial woman who quit 'Real Housewives of Dallas’?," 26 Feb. 2020 Granted, Pound - something of a loose cannon in Olympic circles, which is exactly why journalists like to speak with him - wasn’t making an official announcement. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Need to postpone Olympics was clear to everyone involved ... except the IOC," 23 Mar. 2020 Think … maybe not Vontaze Burfict but someone who’s a loose cannon taking a kid under his wing. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Reading while social distancing? Here are 50 sports books worth checking out," 22 Mar. 2020 Plenty of Republicans as well as Democrats are disgusted with MBS and see him as a loose cannon who could drag America into a new Middle East war. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "The world is learning the price of friendship with Donald Trump," 2 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of loose cannon

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for loose cannon

Time Traveler

The first known use of loose cannon was in 1889

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Statistics for loose cannon

Last Updated

20 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Loose cannon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose%20cannon. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for loose cannon

loose cannon


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

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