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 ?
DAMASCUS, Feb 13 (KUNA) -- The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported Thursday that up to 421 people, mainly civilians, were killed as a result of the attacks with powder kegs on the northern city of Aleppo over the last 12 days The victims include 109 children below 18, 52 women and 24 opposition fighters.
DAMASCUS, Feb 11 (KUNA) -- The Syrian army continued the air attacks on the central city of Aleppo on Tuesday and dropped over 25 powder kegs on various parts of it.
DAMASCUS, Feb 9 (KUNA) -- Scores of civilians were killed or injured on Sunday as the Syrian regular troops escalated their attacks with powder kegs and missiles on several parts of the country, mainly Aleppo, Homs and Damascus.
The military helicopters dropped at least 240 powder kegs on the city in the last few days including six barrels today, the SRGC reported.