powder keg

(redirected from the 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 ?
Before the powder-keg match, Bellamy appeared to withdraw his hand from the pre-match handshake while Bridge blanked his former team mate totally.
Tension flared early and there were six yellow cards but referee Eddy Maillet handled the powder-keg game brilliantly and it ended without serious incident.
The haul was uncovered at the powder-keg prison where racial tensions reached fever pitch with clashes between Asian and white inmates.
It's not even the trepidation of dealing with the powder-keg atmosphere behind closed doors at all three regional sides.
MONEY-GRABBING English ticket touts have sparked a security alert over the powder-keg Old Firm Scottish Cup Final.