Definitions for damoclesˈdæm əˌkliz
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a flatterer of classical legend who, having extolled the happiness of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, was seated at a banquet with a sword suspended over his head by a single hair to show him the perilous nature of that happiness.
Ref: Compare sword of Damocles .
the Greek courtier to Dionysius the Elder who (according to legend) was condemned to sit under a naked sword that was suspended by a hair in order to demonstrate to him that being a king was not the happy state Damocles had said it was (4th century BC)
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a flatterer at the court of the elder Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, whom, after one day extravagantly extolling the happiness of kings, Dionysius set down to a magnificent banquet, but who, when seated at it, looked up and saw a sword hanging over his head suspended by a single hair; a lesson this which admonished him, and led him to change his views of the happiness of kings.