tripwire

[trip-wahyuh r]
noun
  1. a wire used to set off concealed explosives, as one stretched across a footpath to be struck and activated by the foot of an enemy soldier.
  2. a wire that activates a trap, camera, or other device when stepped on, tripped on, or otherwise disturbed.

Origin of tripwire

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tripwire

Contemporary Examples of tripwire

  • The tripwire for an unfolding plot to take control of the flight would be the transponder, operated by a switch beside the pilots.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Gagged the Search for MH370?

    Clive Irving

    June 22, 2014

  • The transponder is really the tripwire for whatever began to unfold on that jet.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Tripwire on Flight 370

    Clive Irving

    March 17, 2014

  • The emotions of Democrats are on a tripwire, ready to react at the slightest provocation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is Hillary Ditching Senate Dems?

    Eleanor Clift

    February 11, 2014


British Dictionary definitions for tripwire

tripwire

noun
  1. a wire that activates a trap, mine, etc, when tripped over
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