a 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 periodicals archive ?
Some men think she's a monster, others a savior, but whatever side they take in a world without women, Dooling is transformed into a powder keg.
There are so many entrances that it's like a powder keg.
Summary: It's a fact that the region is sitting on a powder keg, with rhetoric and polarization having reached levels not seen since the 1950s.
Mr Lavery said: "The prison service is not only in crisis, but is a powder keg.
The days following the crime saw this city as a powder keg of possible major civil disorder.
The Middle East is a powder keg, and the fuse is getting shorter", Assad told the newspaper's correspondent in Damascus, in a rare interview with Western media.
In a rare interview with Western media in Damascus, Assad told French newspaper Le Figaro that the Middle East is a powder keg, and the fuse is getting shorter.
The Middle East is a powder keg and the fire is approaching," Assad said, according to extracts of the interview published on Monday.
Egypt has been a powder keg many times in the past five millennia, and it may have exploded again Friday, with the fuse lit by President Mohammed Morsi's apparent attempt to assume absolute power in the Land of the Pharoahs Thursday.
Syria is a powder keg on Israel's border, while Yemen continues to export terrorism and looks likely to fall under the influence of an Islamist extremist government.
Perhaps it's a symptom of the recent spats between the clubs - people are terrified of pouring petrol onto a powder keg - but can't we be just a bit more mature about this?
Hooligan expert John Williams, of Leicester University, said the number of fans in Manchester created a powder keg and it exploded after the TV glitch.
Murder, kidnapping and drag trafficking are just some of the problems they face in what remains a powder keg of a society.