What does it mean to have the sword of damocles hanging over your head?

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Damocles and his Sword are figures from Greek legend. Damocles was a courtier who was complimenting a tyrant. The tyrant offered to switch places with him for a day, to which Damocles agrees. The day seems to be going all well for Damocles...until dinner, when he looks up to see a very heavy and very sharp sword being suspended over his head by a hair. The sword is symbolic of the constant risk of life the tyrant faces every day because he is king.

If someone says you have the Sword of Damocles over your head, it means your position puts you at constant risk of your life; death can come from anywhere at anytime. Kings and other heads of state always have to watch their backs because being in power makes them targets (it is not hard to look up royal and presidential assassinations). It could also apply more generally to a person in constant fear of being killed (such as an undercover operative in enemy territory).
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Who was Damocles?

Damoclēs, a courtier of Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse in the fourth century BC. When he praised to excess the happiness of a tyrant, Dionysius invited him to experience it for himself. He placed Damocles at a banquet where presently the latter observed a naked sword hanging over his head by a s (MORE)

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How can someone have forgiven you but keeps hanging it over your head?

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What does a picture over the Sims head mean?

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What is the meaning of 'head over heels'?

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What is meaning of The Fray's Over My Head song?

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How can you stop your horse from hanging his head over a fence and choking himself?

Make the fence taller so he can't. If on a budget a few strands of barb wire will get the job done. Better yet is hot wire, he'll learn after about 2 trys. And if your horse is a cribber, or even if he's not and he's just obsessively resting his throat on a fence, try a cribbing collar. And you (MORE)

What does 'get the hang of it' mean?

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What is the meaning of went over the head?

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What does to be in over one's head mean?

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What does the expression talking over your head mean?

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What does to be head over the heels in work mean?

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It is a roadway that is built over another roadway to allow vehicles to pass overtop of the other road without having a traffic stop or connection between the two. You usually see this over a freeway so that vehicles on the freeway don't have to stop.

What words means to hold it over their head?

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What does the idiom 'head over heels' mean?

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What does over your head mean?

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What does it mean to have a pressing issue hanging over me?

The term "pressing issue" is a problem or task that you are being urged (pressured) to solve, soon or immediately, before there are other consequences. The problem is figuratively "hanging over you" like some physical object (in a worrisome or threatening manner) due to the possible negative consequ (MORE)