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See also: tinder-box and tinder box



tinder +‎ box


tinderbox (plural tinderboxes)

  1. A small container containing flint, steel, and tinder (dry, finely-divided fibrous matter), once used to help kindle a fire.
    • 2007 The Tinderbox, Stephen Mitchell, p. 5
    • "Just bring me the old tinderbox that my grandmother forgot the last time she went down there."
  2. (by extension) a place that is so dry and hot that there is danger of fire.
    • 2010 Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling, L. K. Ludwig, p. 30
    • "Think of your blank journal as a tinderbox, a box for holding combustible materials, ready to catch fire when you sit down to work."
  3. (by extension) a potentially dangerous situation.
    • 2010 Sagebrush Or Gold Dust: The True Story of the Haskell Family, H. S. Haskell, p. 291
    • "This act was the "match that ignited the great tinderbox of fuel" that had been building for years between many of the countries in Europe."