trigger

[ trig-er ]
/ ˈtrɪg ər /

noun

verb (used with object)

to initiate or precipitate (a chain of events, scientific reaction, psychological process, etc.): Their small protest triggered a mass demonstration.
to fire or explode (a gun, missile, etc.) by pulling a trigger or releasing a triggering device: He accidentally triggered his rifle.

verb (used without object)

to release a trigger.
to become active; activate.

Idioms

    quick on the trigger, Informal. quick to act or respond; impetuous; alert.

Origin of trigger

1615–25; earlier tricker < Dutch trekker, equivalent to trekk(en) to pull + -er -er1
Related formsun·trig·gered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trigger

British Dictionary definitions for trigger

trigger

/ (ˈtrɪɡə) /

noun

a small projecting lever that activates the firing mechanism of a firearm
machinery a device that releases a spring-loaded mechanism or a similar arrangement
any event that sets a course of action in motion

verb (tr)

(usually foll by off) to give rise (to); set off
to fire or set in motion by or as by pulling a trigger
Derived Formstriggered, adjectivetriggerless, adjective

Word Origin for trigger

C17 tricker, from Dutch trekker, from trekken to pull; see trek
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

trigger

In addition to the idiom beginning with trigger

  • trigger happy

also see:

  • quick on the draw (trigger)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.