Three-Ring Circus Meaning
(idiomatic, by extension) A disorderly, complicated, rapidly changing situation or set of events, which is a source of bewilderment, amazement, or amusement.
Example: A large circus in which three separate performances, each within its own circular enclosure, are staged simultaneously before a single audience.
1963 Feb. 22, "Sport: Look! Another Record," Time:
Indoor track can be a three-ring circus, with so much going on in the space of a few evening hours that the fans hardly know where to look first.
1997 Nov. 1, Kim Sengupta, "Nanny Trial: Sharp contrast in US justice style," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 28 June 2012):
British television viewers had seen how proceedings in US courtrooms can almost turn into a three-ring circus during the OJ Simpson trial.
2011 April 1, Rachel Donadio, "Rude and Crude Behavior Stains Italian Parliament," New York Times (retrieved 28 June 2012):
The Italian Parliament has long been a three-ring circus.