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

Fantasy owners would be wise to realize that Michel is a ticking time bomb and select Harris somewhere around Rounds 9-10. Shawn Childs, SI.com, "Fantasy Football: 12 Sleepers Who Could Help You Win in 2019," 7 Aug. 2019 But in a political culture increasingly focused on past sins against racial and gender equality, Biden has long been sitting on a time bomb: his many enduring friendships and alliances with segregationist Dixiecrats. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Joe Biden’s Segregationist Problem," 19 June 2019 Mandating the future publication of SSNs creates a digital time bomb that will force a fix to a fundamentally flawed system. Mike Chapple For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "How taking Social Security numbers public could fix our data breach crisis," 5 June 2019 Yet because nuclear power plants in the West had already corrected for this opposite-of-safety measure, the Soviets don’t want the world to know that their plants were faulty from the moment they were designed, time bombs just waiting to go off. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Chernobyl’s stellar finale makes a case for the show as science fiction," 9 June 2019 As a teenager, watching his family members sidelined from life, Lindsay wondered whether his body was a ticking time bomb, too. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "This college dropout was bedridden for 11 years. Then he invented a surgery and cured himself," 27 July 2019 Because here came the ticking time bomb now, counting down, asking the question: CONTINUE? Veronica Chambers, New York Times, "Viewfinders: 10 Y.A. Novelists Spin Fiction From Vintage Photos," 28 June 2019 But there is an enormous cloud over everything, which is a ticking time bomb. Bridget Read, Vogue, "60 Years After Her First Vogue Cover, Jane Fonda on Acting, Activism, and Having No Regrets," 9 July 2019 The jobs crisis among educated youth has often been described as a ticking time bomb, given that half of India’s 1.3 billion population is below the age of 25. Nupur Anand, Quartz India, "More education means less employment in Modi’s India," 10 June 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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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

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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