tinderbox


tinderbox

noun

  1. a box for holding tinder, usually fitted with a flint and steel.
  2. a person or thing that is highly excitable, explosive, inflammable, etc.; a potential source of widespread violence: Berlin was the tinderbox of Europe.

noun

  1. a box used formerly for holding tinder, esp one fitted with a flint and steel
  2. 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.

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