Keep your powder dry


      • be prepared
        Encourage someone to be cautious and prepared for any potential challenges or difficulties

      • conserve resources
        Advise someone to conserve their resources, whether it be physical, emotional, or financial, for future use or emergencies

    Examples of Keep your powder dry

    • In the heat of a political debate, it's important to remain calm and collected, just as you would keep your gunpowder dry in preparation for an unexpected attack.

      This idiom urges people to stay composed and reserved in tense situations, just as gunpowder should be kept dry in order to function optimally.

    • During a high-stakes negotiation, it's crucial to avoid making rash decisions or emotional outbursts. Instead, keep your powder dry and wait for the right moment to make a strategic move.

      By keeping your gunpowder dry during a negotiation, you're preparing yourself to act swiftly and decisively when the time is right. This idiom highlights the importance of patience and strategic thinking in critical situations.

    • In a fast-paced and competitive work environment, it's easy to get caught up in the drama and chaos. However, by keeping your powder dry, you can stay focused and poised, even in the midst of chaos.

      This idiom emphasizes the importance of maintaining a level head and staying focused on your goals, regardless of the distractions and chaos around you.

    • When faced with a difficult challenge or unexpected setback, it's important to take a step back and regroup, just as you would keep your gunpowder dry during a battle.

      By keeping your powder dry in the face of adversity, you're giving yourself the opportunity to reflect, regroup, and make smart choices in response to the situation. This idiom encourages people to remain calm and composed in the face of uncertainty.

    • In a high-stakes negotiation, it's crucial to remain calm and composed, just as a soldier keeps their gunpowder dry in order to fire a deadly shot when the time is right.

      The idiom "keep your powder dry" originated during the time of muskets, where gunpowder was kept in a small pouch or "pan" attached to the bottom of the musket barrel. It was essential to keep this gunpowder dry, so that it could ignite and fire a deadly shot when required. This phrase is now commonly used metaphorically to imply that one should remain calm, composed and collected, especially during times of high-stakes and adversity. It's important to avoid rash or emotional decisions, and instead to carefully consider one's options, just as a soldier carefully considers when and how to use their gunpowder.


    The idiom "keep your powder dry" is used to advise someone to be cautious, prepared, and to conserve their resources for future use. It can be used in various contexts, such as giving advice before a challenging task or cautioning someone to save their energy or assets for later.

    Origin of "Keep your powder dry"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the military. In the past, soldiers used to carry gunpowder in order to keep their firearms operational. If the gunpowder got wet, it would not work properly. Therefore, the phrase "keep your powder dry" was used as a reminder to soldiers to keep their gunpowder dry and ready for use.

    Over time, the phrase evolved to have a more general meaning, encouraging people to stay prepared and conserve their resources for future challenges or opportunities. Today, it is used in everyday language to remind someone to be cautious and ready for whatever may come their way.