can of worms


can of worms
noun
a source of unpredictable trouble and complexity
Usage Domain: ↑colloquialism
Hypernyms: ↑trouble, ↑problem

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Informal. a source of many unpredictable or unexpected problems: Buying a company we know nothing about would be opening up a whole new can of worms.
[1965-70]

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can of worms
An unpredictable and potentially difficult situation or problem
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Main Entry:can

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can of worms,
U.S. Slang. a complicated problem or situation; a source of many difficulties: »

The whole area of screen acting is probably going to be a big can of worms in the next few years (Pauline Kael).

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can of worms
: a complicated situation in which doing something to correct a problem leads to many more problems

We thought the project would be simple, but it turned out to be a real can of worms.

Our boss is reluctant to change the policy now because she doesn't want to open a can of worms.

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Main Entry:can
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can of worms — see can, 2
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Main Entry:worm

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • can of worms — If an action can create serious problems, it is opening a can of worms …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • can of worms — can′ of worms′ n. cvb inf a source of many unpredictable and complicated problems • Etymology: 1965–70 …   From formal English to slang

  • can of worms — [n] troublesome problem complication, difficulty, entanglement, Gordian knot, hot water*, Pandora’s box, predicament, quag mire, quandary, trouble; concepts 532,674,690 …   New thesaurus

  • can of worms — {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. A complex problem, or complicated situation. * /Let s not get into big city politics that s a different can of worms./ 2. A very restless, jittery person. * /Joe can t sit still for a minute he is a can of worms./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • can of worms — {n.}, {slang}, {informal} 1. A complex problem, or complicated situation. * /Let s not get into big city politics that s a different can of worms./ 2. A very restless, jittery person. * /Joe can t sit still for a minute he is a can of worms./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Can of worms — A can of worms is a complex, troublesome situation arising when a decision or action produces considerable subsequent problems.Can of Worms can also refer to: *Can of Worms (interchange) in Rochester, New York and Duluth, Minnesota * Can of Worms …   Wikipedia

  • can of worms —    If an action can create serious problems, it is opening a can of worms.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    To describe a situation as a can of worms means that it is complicated, unpleasant and difficult to deal with.     The discovery of …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • can\ of\ worms — noun slang informal 1. A complex problem, or complicated situation. Let s not get into big city politics that s a different can of worms. 2. A very restless, jittery person. Joe can t sit still for a minute he is a can of worms …   Словарь американских идиом

  • can of worms — noun a) A complex, troublesome situation arising when a decision or action produces considerable subsequent problems. If I give her a promotion which she doesnt deserve, it will open up a whole can of worms with the other employees. b) A… …   Wiktionary

  • can of worms — n. an intertwined set of problems; an array of difficulties. (Often with open.) □ This whole business is a real can of worms. □ When you brought that up, you opened a whole new can of worms …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions