tempest in a teapot


tempest in a teapot (US)
also, storm in a teacup (UK)


  • when a minor issue causes an exaggerated reaction of anger or trouble
  • a minor problem or issue that ends up being a great commotion
  • great uproar over something of little concern
  • an unimportant matter that ends up creating a great deal of disturbance.

Example Sentences

  1. At first, I thought we were having a general discussion, but it ended setting off a tempest in the teapot.
  2. The other day in class, I witnessed a very interesting tempest in a teapot involving Ed and Glen, and you wouldn’t believe how it all started.
  3. She appeared confused and shown that she believed I was making a tempest in a teapot.
  4. The United States stands with Israel. This incident turned out to be another tempest in a teapot.
  5. A Hindu girl in love with a Muslim boy quickly becomes a tempest in a teacup.
  6. A tempest in a teacup began with the Queen’s four-minute video address to her people on coronavirus.
  7. The Prime Minister denied commenting on the current tempest in a teapot.
  8. The controversy prior to the election may have been a tempest in a teapot.
  9. President Biden’s speech went viral and became a tempest in a teapot.


The idiomatic saying is linked to the writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero of Rome in the first century BC. The saying is translated “For Gratidius raised a tempest in a ladle.” The phrase also appeared in its French form at the end of the eighteenth century as translated as “a tempest in a glass of water,” referring to an uprising in the Republic of Geneva.

See also: storm in a teacup

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