time bomb


Definition of time bomb

1 : a bomb so made as to explode at a predetermined time
2 : something with a potentially dangerous or detrimental delayed reaction

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of time bomb in a Sentence

He's a time bomb getting ready to explode. If we don't do something about the pollution problem, we'll be sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Recent Examples on the Web

Sansa absolutely saw this disaster coming a mile away, and has been telling anyone who will listen that Dany is a ticking time bomb. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sansa Stark Was Right All Along and Game of Thrones Fans Are Here For It," 13 May 2019 And China’s working-age population has begun shrinking because of a low birthrate—resembling the demographic time bomb that underlies Japan’s long stagnation. Peter Landers, WSJ, "The Old U.S. Trade War With Japan Looms Over Today’s Dispute With China," 13 Dec. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW That’s the special awkwardness surrounding the ticking time bomb that is Carlos Uresti’s tenure in the Texas Senate. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Gallego eyeing Uresti’s Texas Senate seat," 27 Feb. 2018 Increased blood pressure from a strenuous activity like working out—or even orgasm—can cause that quietly ticking time bomb to explode. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Emilia Clarke's Aneurysms Almost Killed Her—Women Need to Know the Risks," 22 Mar. 2019 For all of his seeming good-naturedness, Bernard, like the other hosts, is a ticking time bomb, ready to snap at Robert’s predetermined choosing. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "‘Westworld’ Episode 4 recap: 5 things to know about ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’," 14 May 2018 According to Jansen, the report calls these children ticking time bombs. Fox News, "Germany's Salafist Muslim children being radicalized faster and younger: intelligence report," 24 Aug. 2018 Philadelphia faces an unprecedented crisis, a time bomb ticking away in our schools. Katrina Clark, Philly.com, "There is money to fix our schools. Here is where to find it | Opinion," 17 May 2018 Looking at stats on home value and household wealth suggest a bit of a demographic time bomb. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'time bomb.' 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 time bomb

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about time bomb

Statistics for time bomb

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for time bomb

The first known use of time bomb was in 1893

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for time bomb

time bomb


English Language Learners Definition of time bomb

: a bomb that is set to explode at a particular moment
: a person or situation that will probably become dangerous or harmful in the future

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on time bomb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with time bomb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for time bomb

Spanish Central: Translation of time bomb

Comments on time bomb

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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