powder keg

noun
1.
a small, metal, barrellike container for gunpowder or blasting powder.
2.
a potentially dangerous situation, especially one involving violent repercussions.

Origin:
1850–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To powder keg
Collins
World English Dictionary
powder keg
 
n
1.  a small barrel used to hold gunpowder
2.  informal a potential source or scene of violence, disaster, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
He symbolizes the seething mood of a country that the film suggests is a powder
  keg of discontent and alienation.
Being an artilleryman, he designed a military missile that carried a small
  powder keg in its nose.
Yet the country is also often considered a powder keg.
In bad times, the tight ethnic jumble of the city can be a powder keg.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;