Definition of Damocles noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

Damocles

 noun
noun
NAmE//ˈdæməkliz//
 
 
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Idioms
a/the sword of Damocles(literary)
 
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a bad or unpleasant thing that might happen to you at any time and that makes you feel worried or frightened From the legend in which Damocles had to sit at a meal at the court of Dionysius with a sword hanging by a single hair above his head. He had praised Dionysius' happiness, and Dionysius wanted him to understand how quickly happiness can be lost.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: Damocles