powder keg


Definition of powder keg

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

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 For all the strides that have been made since 1992, many Angelenos believe their city may still be a powder keg, according to a survey by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Extremely dry conditions in the area have created a veritable wildfire powder keg. Aj Willingham, CNN, 29 Mar. 2022 The former Yugoslavia — the last European region to succumb to armed conflict, in the civil wars of the 1990s — could again prove a powder keg. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Mar. 2022 Kellen Davis, Drakeo’s longtime attorney, said that the tense circumstances and lack of security at the festival created a powder keg, one that should have been easily foreseeable by the promoters of an L.A. hip-hop festival. Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2022 This approach might have made sense in countries that lacked substantial Russian populations, like Tajikistan and Georgia, but a one-size-fits-all strategy was a poor fit for Ukraine, whose demographic makeup was a powder keg from the get-go. David Faris, The Week, 31 Jan. 2022 However, the rapid adoption of SaaS technologies combined with the lag in SaaS security investment has created a powder keg of vulnerabilities. Brendan O'connor, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 Worse, the streets of Seattle are filled with protesters and cops, i.e. a powder keg ready to blow. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2022 The case is a political powder keg, pulling together several explosive issues that defined a year of violence, protest and extremism in the United States. Mark Berman And Kim Bellware, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of powder keg

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of powder keg was in 1791

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Dictionary Entries Near powder keg

powdering tub

powder keg


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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Powder keg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powder%20keg. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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