powder keg

(redirected from powder-keg)

powder keg

A situation that could quickly become very volatile and dangerous. It became obvious we were sitting on a powder keg as the protests in the city became more frequent.
See also: keg, powder

a powder keg

A powder keg is a very dangerous situation or place in which something very bad could happen at any time. His imprisonment is a political powder keg. The region has long been regarded as the powder keg of Europe. Note: You can say that someone is sitting on a powder keg if they are in a very dangerous situation. The Prime Minister was all too aware that he was sitting on a powder keg which could explode at any moment. Note: A powder keg was a small barrel which was used to store gunpowder.
See also: keg, powder
References in classic literature ?
It was the treasure-box, sure enough, occupying a snug little cavern, along with an empty powder-keg, a couple of guns in leather cases, two or three pairs of old moccasins, a leather belt, and some other rubbish well soaked with the water-drip.
WHY should Scottish taxpayers have to fork out PS500,000 for the policing of the Celtic v Rangers match on Hogmanay, which is a powder-keg situation?
Though the lid was blown off the Church of Scientology long ago, Alex Gibney's powder-keg documentary "Going Clear" should certainly rattle the walls.
After being cleared to make his debut in Saturday's powder-keg Tyne-Wear derby at St James' Park.
THE execution of Kim Jongun's uncle will confirm many peoples' conviction that North Korea is a land in which state-sanctioned killings are a political tool and deepen anxieties that this is a powder-keg nation with the potential to spread mayhem and disaster across the surrounding region.
POLICE have warned Chelsea and Manchester United fans to "behave" ahead of today's powder-keg showdown.
With former Chelsea coach Mourinho, whose side have a slender 2-1 lead to protect, desperate to inflict a painful defeat on the men that sacked him back in September 2007, the second leg clash at Stamford Bridge looks a potential powder-keg.
Before the powder-keg match, Bellamy appeared to withdraw his hand from the pre-match handshake while Bridge blanked his former team mate totally.
Guitar virtuoso D'Angelo, thunderous bassist Gallo and powder-keg drummer Balcom promise to break you out of the eggnog and sticker-shock haze of the holiday.
Irishman Rolland also has charge of another potential powder-keg, the opening round cracker between Leicester Tigers and the Ospreys at Welford Road on October 12.
Pardew has raised the pressure for today's powder-keg derby clash by demanding a crackdown from referee Peter Walton to prevent outbreaks of violence.
The US believed Glasgow, with its large Irish population, was a potential powder-keg, along with other UK cities with mixed Irish pop-ulations, such as Liverpool.
It's not even a shot of adrenaline, its a powder-keg of adrenaline.
The reasons offered by English Heritage for so doing are a powder-keg, capable of blowing away the planning controls that councils everywhere - and English Heritage itself - rely on to protect our most important historical buildings.