To stir up a hornet's nest

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To stir up a hornet's nest to provoke the attack of a swarm of spiteful enemies or spirited critics.
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Usage

In literature:

One must keep still, in order not to stir up a hornet's nest.
"The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume I.(of III) 1555-66" by John Lothrop Motley
Lord, but we seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest!
"The Daughter of Anderson Crow" by George Barr McCutcheon
But you have not come here to stir up a hornet's nest, have you?
"The Strange Story of Rab Ráby" by Mór Jókai
Why does David want to stir up a hornet's nest among the negroes, I'd like to know?
"The Builders" by Ellen Glasgow
To enclose was in parts of the country to stir up a hornet's nest.
"The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century" by Richard Henry Tawney
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In news:

Pat Quinn has stirred up a hornet's nest among public school administrators by suggesting that many districts are sitting on so much cash that it should be no problem for them to pay the state's share of teacher pension costs.
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