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View synonyms for powder keg

powder keg

noun

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


powder keg

noun

  1. a small barrel used to hold gunpowder
  2. informal.
    a potential source or scene of violence, disaster, etc


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Word History and Origins

Origin of powder keg1

First recorded in 1850–55
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Example Sentences

Instead, we were confined and crammed into boardrooms and claustrophobic strategy sessions, the expanse of the series’ setpieces packed into a powder keg.

Chile’s transformation from a neoliberal experiment led by Milton Friedman’s “Chicago Boys” to a powder keg of leftist activism is one not many saw coming.

From Ozy

Then the big concern is what happens over the weekend when Ida enters the Gulf of Mexico, a meteorological powder keg.

It’s a powder keg waiting to explode unless the police and army are able to enforce the rule of law.

From Ozy

For all that they poke fun at Josh’s cub-reporter opportunism, Schur, Helms and Ornelas—a Navajo showrunner leading a rare staff of Indigenous writers, Schmieding among them—also clearly see Rutherford Falls as an allegorical powder keg.

From Time

They say that the Israelis framed him in order to light the powder keg of religious war over the al-Aqsa compound.

Logic is a rare bird in these parts and Crimea is nothing short of a powder keg.

The Bossi-Fini law has become a political powder keg in Italy since the tragedy.

Gao says that China is a powder keg approaching the “explosion point.”

"There goes the powder keg under the water gate," cried Tomaso.

Otherwise he would have taken a chance on burning through his thongs at the candle in the powder keg.

It came out, too, how Billy Topsail had held the candle over the powder-keg.

Some time after Felipe's departure, Stephens went to his powder-keg and measured out three charges of blasting-powder.

She would have shuddered to see a man sit carelessly down upon a powder keg with a pipe in his mouth.

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