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Definitions from WordNet

Noun powder-keg has 2 senses
  1. powder keg - a potentially explosive state
    --1 is a kind of danger
  2. powder keg - keg (usually made of metal) for gunpowder or blasting powder
    --2 is a kind of keg

Definitions from the Web



A powder-keg is a container filled with explosive powder, such as gunpowder. It is used metaphorically to describe a situation or place that is very volatile, likely to explode, and is on the brink of violence or upheaval.


  1. The city was a powder-keg with increasing tensions between rival gangs.
  2. The politician's controversial remarks ignited the powder-keg of public outrage.
  3. The region has been a long-standing powder-keg of unresolved conflicts and territorial disputes.
  4. His aggressive behavior turned a small disagreement into a powder-keg situation.

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