powder keg(redirected from powder kegs)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012