- a box for holding tinder, usually fitted with a flint and steel.
- a person or thing that is highly excitable, explosive, inflammable, etc.; a potential source of widespread violence: Berlin was the tinderbox of Europe.
- a box used formerly for holding tinder, esp one fitted with a flint and steel
- a person or thing that is particularly touchy or explosive
n.“box in which tinder and flint are kept,” 1520s, from tinder + box (n.); figurative sense of ” ‘inflammable’ person or thing” is attested from 1590s.