hair trigger

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

Origin:
1815–25

Dictionary.com Unabridged

hair-trigger

[hair-trig-er]
adjective
easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause: a hair-trigger temper.

Origin:
1885–90

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hair-trigger
Collins
World English Dictionary
hair trigger
 
n
1.  a trigger of a firearm that responds to very slight pressure
2.  informal
 a.  any mechanism, reaction, etc, set in operation by slight provocation
 b.  (as modifier): a hair-trigger temper

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Militarily, the situation remains on a hair-trigger.
There is no reason, he says, to have thousands of armed missiles on something close to hair-trigger alert.
One day he was examining that pistol with its delicate hair-trigger.
Perimeter ensures the ability to strike back, but it's no hair-trigger device.
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