canary in a coal mine love

canary in a coal mine

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration in its health or welfare.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

An allusion to caged canaries mining workers would carry down into the tunnels with them. If dangerous gases such as methane or carbon monoxide leaked into the mine-shaft, the gases would kill the canary before killing the miners.

Examples

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