Pandora's box

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - Pandora's box

"Pandora's box"

a situation that contains many unexpected and unwanted problems and consequences


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - Pandora's box

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Looks like management has decided to go from just the single shift working the factory to three around-the-clock shifts.

Colleague 2: That's going to open a Pandora's box of trouble.

Colleague 1: Trouble? Isn't running the factory at full capacity a good thing? Increased production means increased profit.

Colleague 2: But it also means dealing with hiring and training all that new staff, not to mention dealing with a higher turnover rate. Then there is the problem of maintenance. With the factory running all the time, maintenance becomes a problem. And what about the fact that having so many more workers that the possibility of unionization becomes possible?

Colleague 1: I suppose I had not thought of all that.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - Pandora's box

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: You know, I thought it would be really nice if I bought a couple of plane tickets for my girlfriend and I to go visit her family.

Friend 2: That is very generous of you. What did your girlfriend think of the gesture?

Friend 1: She was upset. She told me that the reason she doesn't visit her family is that it would open a Pandora's box.

Friend 2: I guess she has some serious family issues.

Friend 1: Apparently, my girlfriend has found some peace by living far away from her family so that all the troubles she has with her family don't have to be dealt with.

Test Your Understanding  

Pandora's box - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   942   click for frequency by country

Pandora's box - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for Pandora's box.

Pandora's box - Examples:

1)  Now this Pandora's Box is open and we are constantly negotiating between further democracy and further oppression.

2)  But then he tries to close Pandora's box without addressing the larger questions that loom in the realm of conspiracy theorists.

3)  ... to ensure that the Palestinian Authority does not collapse, which would open up a Pandora's box of difficulties for America, for Israel, for our partners throughout the ...

4)  ... human on the planet directly in contact with every other, the Net opened a Pandora's Box of nastiness. 

5)  And there would also be the risk that such a hearing might open up the Pandora's box of the CIA's many failures that led to the fiasco of the ...

6)  Abstract thinking, the ability to deal with higher-level concepts, opens the Pandora's box of human possibilities: language ability, self-awareness of thought, imagination and ...

7)  Left as it is, the concept of domestic partnership could open a Pandora's box of litigation and subjective judicial decision-making about who qualifies.

8)  And the larger will be the reluctance to break the seals on a Pandora's box that, once opened, can be closed only with the greatest difficulty ...

9)  ... you make a good point about Google giving out too much information -- they opened Pandora's box when they started and now too much of the content has escaped.

10)  There's no returning to those kinder, gentler days of yesteryear. The Pandora's box of technology is open and can't be closed.

11)  ... a chorus of voices rose in protest against the decision that opened the Pandora's box of atomic warfare.

12)  Darwin's theory opened a Pandora's box of social, political, and racial attitudes among Europeans, who applied ...

13)  But as I have been saying, it has been like opening a Pandora's box. She will not relent.

14)  He got close to opening up Pandora's Box, and that truth could have gotten him in real trouble.

15)  Transgenics not only violates this order but opens a Pandora's box to a potential molecular nightmare.

16)  The question of foreign money, incidentally, is a bit of a Pandora's box as non-profit groups increasingly penetrate politics.

17)  The Egyptian Revolution, born in rapture and enthusiasm, now resembles Pandora's box. Hope sprang forth, but so did extremism, demagoguery, crime ...

18)  ... in these types of unions, but once you redefine marriage you have opened a Pandora's box.

19)  The problem with open source is that it is a Pandora's box. Once the contents are revealed you have no hope of ever hiding ...

20)  But all such things crawling from Pandora's box ultimately come with a price.