Definition of tinderbox in English:

tinderbox

noun

  • 1A thing that is readily ignited.

    ‘dry winds and no rain have turned parts of the state into a tinderbox’
    figurative ‘the estate was a tinderbox where riots could explode at any moment’
    • ‘And, a three-year drought has turned forests and swamps to tinderboxes.’
    • ‘Everyone knew the stand was a bit of a tinderbox, but none actually thought it would go up.’
    • ‘Even so, an ongoing drought and millions of acres of dead, bark beetle infected trees have turned much of the west into a potential tinderbox.’
    • ‘While many experts agree that the national forests have become tinderboxes, there is strong disagreement even within the U.S. Forest Service on how to handle the issue.’
    • ‘In hot, dry summers every tree is a potential tinderbox.’
  • 2historical A box containing tinder, flint, a steel, and other items for kindling fires.

    • ‘Nearby Silas's cottage, they find a tinderbox, which makes a townsman recall that a peddler who'd come to town recently carried a tinderbox.’
    • ‘He placed three logs in it then took out a tinderbox.’
    • ‘She slipped her feet into her shoes then threw on a clean dress, not bothering to tie half of the laces, and around her waist she put on the old belt that had her pouch with the tinderbox in it.’
    • ‘Iron and flint I had in my brass tinderbox, and I knelt down by the rocky ledge and began to gather bits of bark.’
    • ‘I flicked open the tinderbox, struggled with the flint several times before getting a light, and held it up with a shaking hand.’

Pronunciation

tinderbox

/ˈtɪndəbɒks/