press the panic button

panic button

an alarm button for use in an emergency, as to summon help.
push/hit/press the panic button, Informal. to give way to panic in a distressing situation.

allegedly first used in reference to emergency bell systems on World War II bombers such as the B-17 and B-24 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To press the panic button
World English Dictionary
panic button
1.  a button or switch that operates any of various safety devices, for use in an emergency
2.  informal hit the panic button, press the panic button to react to a situation by demanding emergency action; become excited; panic

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature