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hair-trigger

[hair-trig-er] /ˈhɛərˌtrɪg ər/
adjective
1.
easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause:
a hair-trigger temper.
Origin of hair-trigger
1885-1890
First recorded in 1885-90

hair trigger

noun
1.
a trigger that allows the firing mechanism of a firearm to be operated by very slight pressure.
Origin
First recorded in 1815-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for hair-trigger

hair trigger

noun
1.
a trigger of a firearm that responds to very slight pressure
2.
(informal)
  1. any mechanism, reaction, etc, set in operation by slight provocation
  2. (as modifier): a hair-trigger temper
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hair-trigger
n.

1830, originally a secondary trigger in a firearm which sprung free a mechanism (hair) which, when set, allowed the main trigger (n.) to be released by very slight force. Figurative use by 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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