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A.Word.A.Day--Pandora's box

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: Whose what?

Pandora's Box (pan-DOR-uhz boks) noun

A source of many unforeseen troubles.

[In Greek mythology Pandora received a "gift" of a jar which she was told never to open. Her curiosity got the better of her. She opened the lid, and out came its contents: all the evils of human life.]

See more usage examples of Pandora's Box in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"Many midwives avoid asking difficult questions, says Stanley, 'because they know that if they open the Pandora's box, they simply will not have the resources to offer the support that the woman will need.'"
Lucy Atkins; I Felt Completely Out of Control; The Guardian (London, UK); Jan 29, 2008.

X-Bonus

In the youth of a state arms do flourish; in the middle age of a state, learning; and then both of them together for a time; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandise. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

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