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fiddle while Rome burns

Definition of fiddle while Rome burns in English:

Be concerned with relatively trivial matters while ignoring the serious or disastrous events going on around one.
Example sentences
  • To ignore the internal threat is to fiddle while Rome burns.
  • Concentrating on the minutiae of a single procedural issue, rather than on developing the fundamental aims of planning and on the effective delivery of these aims, is merely fiddling while Rome burns.
  • Environmentalists, no doubt, will accuse Americans of fiddling while Rome burns.
See parent entry: fiddle
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