- ready to fire a gun at the least provocation, regardless of the situation or probable consequences: a trigger-happy hunter.
- heedless and foolhardy in matters of great importance and recklessly advocating action that can result in war: Some called him a trigger-happy candidate.
- eager to point out the mistakes or shortcomings of others; aggressively or wantonly critical: He's a trigger-happy editor with a nervous blue pencil.
Origin of trigger-happy
First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- tending to resort to the use of firearms or violence irresponsibly
- tending to act rashly or without due consideration
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
Idioms and Phrases with trigger happy
Inclined to act violently at the slightest provocation, as in They feared that the President was trigger happy and would send in troops at the drop of a hat. This expression alludes to being too eager to fire a gun. [c. 1940]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.