follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

loose cannon

noun
1.
a person whose reckless behavior endangers the efforts or welfare of others.
Origin
1975-1980
1975-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for loose-cannon

loose cannon

noun
1.
a person or thing that appears to be beyond control and is potentially a source of unintentional damage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for loose-cannon

loose cannon

noun phrase

A person who is quite likely to cause damage; a wildly irresponsible person: Haig is a loose cannon on a pitching deck/ His detractors call him a loose cannon who makes recommendations in public before consulting (1977+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with loose-cannon
One who is uncontrolled and therefore a serious and unpredictable danger. For example, We can't trust her to talk to the press—she's a loose cannon. This metaphoric expression alludes to cannon mounted on the deck of a sailing ship, which if dislodged during combat or a storm could cause serious damage to both vessel and crew by sliding about. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for loose cannon

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for loose

5
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with loose-cannon