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

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

Having promised public workers big pensions without saving the money to pay them, many of these states are fiscal time bombs. Arthur Laffer, WSJ, "The Court Tosses Blue States a Life Jacket," 10 July 2018 From April: Rampant opioid injection: 'A ticking time bomb' that puts nation at risk Against this backdrop, many schools and community groups turn to speakers with real-life experience, hoping their cautionary tales will resonate with kids. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Do those real-life addiction stories really keep kids off drugs?," 12 July 2018 Monuments and historical museums are always mirrors, advertisements, time bombs. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "Charleston Needs That African American Museum. And Now.," 28 Mar. 2018 How many other adolescent time bombs walk among us? Phillip Morris, cleveland.com, "A tale of one boy, one bullet and two obituaries: Phillip Morris," 4 Mar. 2018 We are never made to feel that Tom is in any way psychologically abused or that Will is a time bomb waiting to explode. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Leave No Trace' shows empathy for those on the fringes of society," 29 June 2018 That could make some CRISPR’d cells ticking time bombs, according to researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and, separately, Novartis. Sharon Begley, STAT, "A serious new hurdle for CRISPR: Edited cells might cause cancer, find two studies," 11 June 2018 With a 100 percent blocked coronary artery, Taylor’s heart was basically a time bomb. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "His heart stopped. How it got working again is an amazing story. Was it luck, or God?," 28 May 2018 After a tripping penalty was called on goaltender Braden Holtby in the first period, Steven Stamkos fired a one-time bomb that Holtby had no chance of stopping. Kristen Nelson, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Playoffs: Lightning Get Much-Needed Win Over Capitals in Game 3," 15 May 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.

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First Known Use of time bomb

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for time bomb

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for time bomb

The first known use of time bomb was in 1893

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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

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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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