powder keg


Definition of powder keg

1 : a small usually metal cask for holding gunpowder or blasting powder
2 : something liable to explode

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Examples of powder keg in a Sentence

Political instability has made the region a powder keg. the immigration bill has become a political powder keg for legislators on both sides of the aisle
Recent Examples on the Web The job of managing this powder keg during the debate will fall to the moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Even with mute, the final presidential debate could be more hostile than the first," 21 Oct. 2020 The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 was a powder keg, igniting protests, stirring deep emotions and inspiring calls for change across the country — including here in Connecticut. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "From the marches and protests to the special session and police accountability bill, here’s how Connecticut responded to George Floyd’s death," 29 Dec. 2020 America was already a powder keg: Citizens are deeply polarized, and the coronavirus pandemic shifted people’s political lives online. Washington Post, "Twitter and Facebook warning labels aren’t enough to save democracy," 9 Nov. 2020 Roller’s victory, aided by aim assist, set off a powder keg. Ethan Davison, Washington Post, "Aim assist in the crosshairs," 16 Oct. 2020 Fueled by uncertainty over the investigation into Taylor's death, the city has become a powder keg as tensions remain high. Mark Morales And Elizabeth Joseph, CNN, "More people were killed in Louisville this year than ever before in the city's history," 22 Sep. 2020 The next 48 hours are going to be filled with a powder keg of varying emotions for multiple players at the back end of the roster, not just the unfortunate 21 who end up getting released. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, "Emotions will run high as Cardinals near mandatory cut-down day, trim roster to final 53," 4 Sep. 2020 Fueled by uncertainty over the criminal investigation into Taylor's death, the city has become a powder keg as tensions remain high. Christina Carrega And Elizabeth Joseph, CNN, "The countdown for answers in Breonna Taylor case looms as patience waivers in Louisville," 25 Aug. 2020 To be fair, the powder keg triumvirate of Kramer, Bangs and Marsh alone was a filmmaker’s dream. John Benson, cleveland, "Creem Magazine’s legacy celebrated in wild rock ’n’ roll documentary," 5 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'powder keg.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of powder keg

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for powder keg

Time Traveler

The first known use of powder keg was in 1791

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Statistics for powder keg

Last Updated

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Powder keg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powder%20keg. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for powder keg

powder keg


English Language Learners Definition of powder keg

: a small container that is used to hold gunpowder
: a place or situation that is likely to become dangerous or violent soon

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