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.
A complex unexpected problem or unsolvable dilemma, as in Tackling the budget cuts is sure to open a can of worms. This expression alludes to a container of bait used for fishing, which when opened reveals an inextricable tangle of worms. [ 1920s ]
caress, fondle, or pet amorously. Contemporary Examples Up To a Point: Binge Watching Putin’s Propaganda Network P. J. O’Rourke September 19, 2014 verb (slang) (intransitive) often foll by with. to kiss and cuddle; pet; fondle v. To hug, caress, etc; make love To coax, esp by lavishing affection
a manual device or small electric appliance for opening cans. Historical Examples The Duke Of Chimney Butte G. W. Ogden Much Ado About Peter Jean Webster Peggy Laura E. Richards The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three Dexter J. Forrester The Voice in the Fog Harold MacGrath Vacation with the Tucker Twins Nell Speed Perkins of […]
Astronomy. a first-magnitude star in the constellation Carina: the second brightest star in the heavens. an ancient seacoast city in Lower Egypt, 15 miles (24 km) E of Alexandria. Historical Examples A Damaged Reputation Harold Bindloss The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) Various Lectures on Stellar Statistics Carl Vilhelm Ludvig Charlier […]
a ruined castle in N Italy: scene of the penance of Emperor Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire before Pope Gregory VII in 1077. go to Canossa, to humble oneself. Historical Examples Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series John Addington Symonds Three Plays Luigi Pirandello The Eighteen Christian Centuries James White […]