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- (nautical) A cannon that breaks loose from its moorings on a ship during battle or storm, which has the potential to cause serious damage to the ship and her crew.
- (idiomatic, by extension) An uncontrolled or unpredictable person who causes damage to their own team, faction, political party, etc.
- Jack is considered a loose cannon due to his volatile personality and his track record of being unable to maintain his composure.
- (idiomatic) To behave in a way such as to cause damage to one's own faction, political party etc.
- 2006, Gerry McCusker, Public Relations Disasters: Talespin--Inside Stories and Lessons Learnt, page 179:
- Gerald's loose cannoning triggered a volley of faithfully quoted media coverage which blasted a hole in his company's profits […]