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trigger

[trig-er] /ˈtrɪg ər/
noun
1.
a small projecting tongue in a firearm that, when pressed by the finger, actuates the mechanism that discharges the weapon.
2.
a device, as a lever, the pulling or pressing of which releases a detent or spring.
3.
anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions.
4.
Slang. triggerman.
verb (used with object)
5.
to initiate or precipitate (a chain of events, scientific reaction, psychological process, etc.):
Their small protest triggered a mass demonstration.
6.
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)
7.
to release a trigger.
8.
to become active; activate.
Idioms
9.
quick on the trigger, Informal. quick to act or respond; impetuous; alert.
Origin
1615-1625
1615-25; earlier tricker < Dutch trekker, equivalent to trekk(en) to pull + -er -er1
Related forms
untriggered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for quick on the trigger

trigger

/ˈtrɪɡə/
noun
1.
a small projecting lever that activates the firing mechanism of a firearm
2.
(machinery) a device that releases a spring-loaded mechanism or a similar arrangement
3.
any event that sets a course of action in motion
verb (transitive)
4.
(usually foll by off) to give rise (to); set off
5.
to fire or set in motion by or as by pulling a trigger
Derived Forms
triggered, adjective
triggerless, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for quick on the trigger

trigger

n.

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.

v.

1930, from trigger (n.). Related: Triggered; triggering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for quick on the trigger

quick on the draw

adjective phrase

Quick to respond or react; touchy; sensitive (1940s+)


trigger

noun

A gunman; hit man, trigger man: He's a trigger (1935+ Underworld)

verb
  1. To commit a robbery: Police said Sims has triggered dozens of holdups (1950s+)
  2. To initiate something; provoke something: My innocent remark triggered a strange reaction (1938+)
Related Terms

quick on the draw


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with quick on the trigger

trigger

In addition to the idiom beginning with trigger also see: quick on the draw (trigger)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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