tinderbox

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noun tin·der·box \ˈtin-dər-ˌbäks\

Definition of tinderbox

  1. 1a :  a metal box for holding tinder and usually a flint and steel for striking a sparkb :  a highly inflammable object or place

  2. 2 :  a potentially explosive place or situation

Examples of tinderbox in a Sentence

  1. That old house is really a tinderbox.

  2. the city has been a tinderbox ever since racial profiling became an issue

Recent Examples of tinderbox from the Web

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

First Known Use of tinderbox

1530


TINDERBOX Defined for English Language Learners

tinderbox

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noun

Definition of tinderbox for English Language Learners

  • : a box that holds material that can be used to start a fire easily : a container for tinder

  • : a structure that would burn very quickly if it caught on fire

  • : a place or situation that could suddenly become very violent



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