time bomb

time bomb

noun
1.
a bomb constructed so as to explode at a certain time.
2.
a situation, condition, etc., resembling such a bomb in having disastrous consequences in the future.

Origin:
1890–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
time bomb
 
n
1.  a bomb containing a timing mechanism that determines the time at which it will detonate
2.  a situation which, if allowed to continue, will develop into a serious problem

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

time bomb definition

software, security
A subspecies of logic bomb that is triggered by reaching some preset time, either once or periodically. There are numerous legends about time bombs set up by programmers in their employers' machines, to go off if the programmer is fired or laid off and is not present to perform the appropriate suppressing action periodically.
Interestingly, the only such incident for which we have been pointed to documentary evidence took place in the Soviet Union in 1986! A disgruntled programmer at the Volga Automobile Plant (where the Fiat clones called Ladas were manufactured) planted a time bomb which, a week after he'd left on vacation, stopped the entire main assembly line for a day. The case attracted lots of attention in the Soviet Union because it was the first cracking case to make it to court there. The perpetrator got 3 years in jail.
[Jargon File]
(2001-09-15)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

time bomb

A situation that threatens to have disastrous consequences at some future time, as in That departmental dispute is a time bomb just waiting to go off. This term alludes to an explosive device that is set to go off at a specific time. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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