To stir up a hornet's nest

To stir up a hornet's nest
Hornet Hor"net, n. [AS. hyrnet; akin to OHG. hornaz, hornuz, G. horniss; perh. akin to E. horn, and named from the sound it makes as if blowing the horn; but more prob. akin to D. horzel, Lith. szirszone, L. crabo.] (Zo["o]l.) A large, strong wasp. The European species ({Vespa crabro}) is of a dark brown and yellow color. It is very pugnacious, and its sting is very severe. Its nest is constructed of a paperlike material, and the layers of comb are hung together by columns. The American white-faced hornet ({Vespa maculata}) is larger and has similar habits. [1913 Webster]

{Hornet fly} (Zo["o]l.), any dipterous insect of the genus {Asilus}, and allied genera, of which there are numerous species. They are large and fierce flies which capture bees and other insects, often larger than themselves, and suck their blood. Called also {hawk fly}, {robber fly}.

{To stir up a hornet's nest}, to provoke the attack of a swarm of spiteful enemies or spirited critics. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • stir up a hornet's nest — {v. phr.} To make many people angry; do something that many people don t like. * /The principal stirred up a hornet s nest by changing the rules at school./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • stir up a hornet's nest — {v. phr.} To make many people angry; do something that many people don t like. * /The principal stirred up a hornet s nest by changing the rules at school./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • stir up a hornet's nest — stir up a hornet’s nest phrase to cause a situation that makes people very angry or upset Thesaurus: to cause problems for someone or somethingsynonym Main entry: hornet …   Useful english dictionary

  • stir up a hornet's nest —    If you stir up a hornet s nest, you do something which causes a commotion and provokes criticism and anger.     His letter to the Board stirred up a real hornet s nest …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • stir\ up\ a\ hornet's\ nest — v. phr. To make many people angry; do something that many people don t like. The principal stirred up a hornet s nest by changing the rules at school …   Словарь американских идиом

  • stir up a hornet's nest — make many people angry, do something that many people don t like He stirred up a hornet s nest when he began to talk about the problems with the bonus system at his job …   Idioms and examples

  • stir up a hornet's nest — cause major problems; agitate hornets in a nest …   English contemporary dictionary

  • hornet's nest — noun 1. a highly contentious or hazardous situation talk of invading Iraq stirred up a political hornets nest • Syn: ↑hornets nest • Hypernyms: ↑situation 2. habitation for wasps or hornets • Syn: ↑wasp s nest …   Useful english dictionary

  • hornet's nest — n. angry reaction to stir up a hornet s nest * * * [ angry reaction ] to stir up a hornet s nest …   Combinatory dictionary

  • hornet's nest — noun Date: circa 1740 1. a troublesome or hazardous situation 2. an angry reaction < must have known that his frank comments…would stir up a hornet s nest U.S. Investor > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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