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burning question

An urgent or crucial issue under heated discussion. For example, Real estate taxes are always a burning question for the town leaders. This term has exact equivalents in French (question brûlante) and German (brennende Frage). [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • The writ of habeas corpus was a burning question in those days, as the liberties of the elders were constantly menaced.

    Wilford Woodruff Matthias F. Cowley
  • This is the burning question with all of us, with you in the desert as with us up here under the Pole.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • On the tariff, the burning question of the time, he had no views; on internal improvements he had even less to say.

    Expansion and Conflict William E. Dodd
  • The place which the Negro is to occupy is still a vital and burning question.

  • This is enough on this burning question, which is certainly not peculiar to Australia.

    Fifty-One Years of Victorian Life Margaret Elizabeth Leigh Child-Villiers, Countess of Jersey

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