powder keg


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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 ?
With its skyrocketing birth rates, falling per capita income, high rates of unemployed malcontents, and its wacky Wahhabi ideology (a strict Wahhabi believes the world is flat), Saudi Arabia is a powder keg waiting to detonate.
Dragging Blondie's bass lines and The Rapture's riffs to a place where ska is tartanised, Franz Ferdinand want to spark the powder keg of today's low power charts.
The Middle East, a powder keg for generations, seems, as of this writing, to be into a downward spiral that will maintain this volatility for yet another generation.
The resulting powder keg exploded when lightning from summer thunderstorms provided the sparks.
In October's "Risk Reporter," I wrote that "the labor force of the twenty-first century is a potential powder keg for discrimination suits" and followed it with a bunch of facts and figures to prove that rather bold statement.
Freeing the slaves may seem a no-brainer, but it was a political powder keg in 1862
The Middle East is a powder keg, and its readiness to explode has been increased through Israel's nuclear arsenal, which it gained through the help of the great powers, especially the United States.
Deftly stitched into nine rich minutes exploring the seductive and subversive possibilities of dance as social ritual and political powder keg are Ondaatje's allusive and densely layered writing, McKellar's penetrating view of the comic possibilities of social life and McDonald's visually playful film sense.
In Yugoslavia, there was intense competition between Emir Kusturica's "Black Cat, White Cat" and Goran Paskaljevic's "The Powder Keg.
And, unlike big companies, they don't have as many options to deal this powder keg of debt they're sitting on that's one of the residues of this terrible recession the whole country has gone through.
There are so many entrances that it's like a powder keg.
This deal is likely to trigger an arms race in the region, which is already sitting on a powder keg.
He blamed poor infrastructure for allowing the US subprime mortgage crisis to "light a powder keg under UK markets, triggering the worst recession in our lifetimes".
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.
At the moment, because of the political and economic situation, they are living in a powder keg.