- a small projecting tongue in a firearm that, when pressed by the finger, actuates the mechanism that discharges the weapon.
- a device, as a lever, the pulling or pressing of which releases a detent or spring.
- anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions.
- Slang. triggerman.
- 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.
- to release a trigger.
- to become active; activate.
- quick on the trigger, Informal. quick to act or respond; impetuous; alert.
Origin of trigger
Related Words for triggeredprompt, start, produce, spark, provoke, cause, generate, elicit, activate
Examples from the Web for triggered
Contemporary Examples of triggered
The Big Five banks dubbed too big to fail, are 35 percent bigger than they were when the meltdown was triggered.Sen. Warren’s Main Street Crusade to Pressure Clinton
January 8, 2015
No alarms were triggered as she strolled out of the Giant supermarket in Limerick, Pennsylvania, and nobody thought otherwise.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks
December 19, 2014
The Daily Beast: What triggered you to take up this initiative?James Patterson Goes Full ‘Fahrenheit 451’ With Burning Book Video
November 25, 2014
In defiance, I held my ticket above my head, which triggered the spitting and chants of “How Dare You!”Inside the Metropolitan Opera’s Insane Year
Shawn E. Milnes
November 23, 2014
Instead, Sanders sold it for a sweet $87,000, which triggered an inevitable lawsuit (PDF).Bid on CIA’s Osama Action Figure, Lewinsky's Lingerie, and More at This L.A. Auction House
November 11, 2014
Historical Examples of triggered
Joe Chessman took his heavy gun from its holster and triggered it twice.Adaptation
Dallas McCord Reynolds
The inner airlock door in the orbit-ship was triggered to a fuse.Gold in the Sky
Alan Edward Nourse
Perhaps it was just the sound of the word in his head that triggered off the sudden panic.Captives of the Flame
Samuel R. Delany
The associations had triggered the wrong words into existence.Forget Me Nearly
Floyd L. Wallace
With you helping, we can isolate the thing that triggered you out of this.All Day Wednesday
- 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
- (usually foll by off) to give rise (to); set off
- to fire or set in motion by or as by pulling a trigger
Word Origin for trigger
1650s, earlier tricker (1620s), from Dutch trekker "trigger," from trekken "to pull" (see trek). Tricker was the usual form in English until c.1750. Trigger-happy is attested from 1943.
1930, from trigger (n.). Related: Triggered; triggering.
In addition to the idiom beginning with trigger
- trigger happy
- quick on the draw (trigger)