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Damocles Line breaks: Damo|cles
Pronunciation: /ˈdaməkliːz/

Definition of Damocles in English:

A legendary courtier who extravagantly praised the happiness of Dionysius I, ruler of Syracuse. To show him how precarious this happiness was, Dionysius seated him at a banquet with a sword hung by a single hair over his head.


sword of Damocles
Used to refer to an extremely precarious situation.
Example sentences
  • James Sugden, the managing director of Johnstons, one of Scotland's leading cashmere manufacturers, said: ‘This threat still hangs over us like a sword of Damocles.’
  • Looming disaster hangs over the first act like the sword of Damocles, but though there is a frisson as you watch these seemingly unaware people wander round oblivious to the events ahead, things really kick off in the second act.
  • Christmas day duty, which was being held over our head like a fiscal sword of Damocles, would be no different than any other day.
Definition of Damocles in:
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