Damocles

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Related to Damoclean: obsequious

Damocles

(dăm`əklēz), in classical mythology, courtier at the court of Dionysius I. He so persistently praised the power and happiness of Dionysius that the tyrant, in order to show the precariousness of rank and power, gave a banquet and had a sword suspended above the head of Damocles by a single hair. Hence the expression "the sword of Damocles" to mean an ever-present peril.

Damocles

((5335) Damocles) An interplanetary object resembling an asteroid with an unusually elliptical orbit that carries it from 22 to 1.6 AU from the Sun. It was discovered in 1991 and is now believed to be the archetype of the Damocloids (see Damocloid).

Damocles

for his sycophancy to Dionysus, seated under sword at banquet. [Gk. Myth.: LLEI, I: 278]

Damocles,

sword of sword hung by a single hair over his head. [Rom. Lit.: Brewer Handbook, 257]
See: Sword
References in periodicals archive ?
Here, it seems to me that we have law prohibiting such speech because it amounts to putting someone else into a position such that the Damoclean sword that hangs over his head as a result of your threat, and so we do regulate that speech.
Clear-headed vision and personal commitment, a rising sensitivity to environmental values, and a growing appreciation of people's ethical (or moral) responsibility to "respect the intrinsic value of nature" and serve as stewards of the earth combined to stay the Damoclean sword of human-induced ecological disaster.
Since the Damoclean sword had a sturdier thread than first imagined, the next hurdle was trying to keep his mind stimulated without his normal diversions of reading and puttering about.
Obtaining informed consent for research involving tissue samples and data is the Damoclean sword for both researchers and participants.
The Syria Accountability Act continues to hang over Damascus as a Damoclean sword, should Syria step too far out of line.
Suspended like Damoclean swords over sleepers' heads, they finally fall as did the birds.
Otherwise, the provision hangs like a Damoclean sword above every multinational taxpayer's return.
15, which had repeatedly been suspended but had continued to hang over the heads of Adenauer and his ministers like a Damoclean sword, was officially annulled on March 27, 1952.