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

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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 But these arguments are all secondary to what Toomey identifies as the gravest threat: the ticking time bomb of record-low interest rates, which will return to historical norms. Brad Polumbo, Washington Examiner, "Exit Toomey," 4 Feb. 2021 So, in the episode's final moments, Amara agreed to become one with Chuck and Jack was left as a ticking time bomb, with Chuck nowhere in sight. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, "Supernatural's Misha Collins previews that explosive cliffhanger's 'tragic' fallout," 30 Oct. 2020 Republicans planted a fiscal time bomb that will go off automatically on August 1, 2021. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Republicans’ Familiar, Troubling Plan to Torpedo Biden’s Presidency," 26 Oct. 2020 So that's going to be a bit of a ticking time bomb, going into the future episodes. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "The Walking Dead: World Beyond," 5 Oct. 2020 The census provides key data for national policy making, information that is becoming more and more important as the demographic time bomb of the one child policy begins to kick in. James Griffiths, CNN, "China prepares to count 1.3 billion people as date for new population census announced," 20 Sep. 2020 What Trump is doing—encouraging this violence—is a time bomb. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s Incitements to Violence Have Crossed an Alarming Threshold," 1 Sep. 2020 Male mosquitoes spread the gene, and in practice, this means any males spend their, uh, best years passing around a population-reducing time bomb. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Release 750 Million Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Into the Wild, They Said," 21 Aug. 2020 For nearly seven years, residents of the Lebanese capital went about their daily lives unaware that 2,750 tons of a highly volatile explosive material were stored in the heart of their city like a ticking time bomb. Washington Post, "A vast store of explosive material sat in Beirut for years despite repeated warnings," 5 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for time bomb

Time Traveler

The first known use of time bomb was in 1893

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Statistics for time bomb

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Time bomb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time%20bomb. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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

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