- a small, metal, barrellike container for gunpowder or blasting powder.
- a potentially dangerous situation, especially one involving violent repercussions.
Origin of powder keg
Examples from the Web for powder keg
Historical Examples of powder keg
It came out, too, how Billy Topsail had held the candle over the powder-keg.Billy Topsail & Company
Some time after Felipe's departure, Stephens went to his powder-keg and measured out three charges of blasting-powder.
Felipe followed him instantly to the storeroom where he kept his powder-keg, mining-tools, pack-saddles, and provisions.
- a small barrel used to hold gunpowder
- informal a potential source or scene of violence, disaster, etc