land mine

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See also: landmine and Landmine


Alternative forms[edit]



land mine (plural land mines)

  1. (military) A mine that is placed on land and designed to explode when stepped upon or touched.
  2. (figuratively) A critical subject or situation with concealed or unpredictable implications.
    • 2020 January 24, Rajeev Syal, Gwyn Topham, “HS2 late and billions over budget due to Tory failures, report finds”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Johnson is expected to make a decision within weeks on the future of the 250mph Y-shaped rail network, which would link Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds but has grown into a vexed political issue since it was floated in 2009. He postponed a decision in November, a move widely viewed as a means of avoiding a political landmine in the run-up to the election.
    • 2021 October 10, Caroline Anders, “A TikTok bone salesman’s wall of spines reignites ethical debate over selling human remains”, in The Washington Post[2]:
      He said conversations are dressed up in language about the educational value or inherent beauty of the remains — what he called a clear ploy to divert attention from the ethical land mine that is owning a piece of a deceased person.
  3. (always written together, from a Landmine™ developed in 1999 by a US company called Sorinex) A piece of exercise device consisting of a pivoting tube attached to the ground to which a barbell can be fitted to lift it off the ground.