hair trigger

  1. a trigger that allows the firing mechanism of a firearm to be operated by very slight pressure.

Origin of hair trigger

First recorded in 1815–25

Words Nearby hair trigger

Other definitions for hair-trigger (2 of 2)

[ hair-trig-er ]

  1. easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause: a hair-trigger temper.

Origin of hair-trigger

First recorded in 1885–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hair trigger in a sentence

  • Jason picked his words slowly, wondering if this savage shared the same hair-trigger temper as the city dwellers.

    Deathworld | Harry Harrison
  • Seeing him determined both to fight and to choose fire-arms, Dumas recommended him at least not to use the hair-trigger pistol.

    Lola Montez | Edmund B. d'Auvergne
  • And hubby's hair-trigger temperament she now calls just plain temper.

    How to Analyze People on Sight | Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
  • Them fellers air allus on a hair-trigger when a mortgage falls in.

  • In it stirred the daring, the lawless adventure, the feverish ambition and the hair-trigger pride of argonauts from many lands.

    Port O' Gold | Louis John Stellman

British Dictionary definitions for hair trigger

hair trigger

  1. a trigger of a firearm that responds to very slight pressure

  2. informal

    • any mechanism, reaction, etc, set in operation by slight provocation

    • (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