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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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Examples from the web for triggers
  • Other bacteria could have adapted to high fever, which triggers their signals.
  • What triggers the fight is a small thing, but it's the straw that broke the camel's back.
  • He objectifies those thrills, in consciousness, even as he triggers them.
  • When the figurine hits the ground, the sound of the impact triggers the lights to go on for a fraction of a second.
  • Other potential triggers could be heat exposure, exhaustion, and sleep-deprivation.
  • To remedy this dilemma, whatever plan adopted could utilize market-based triggers.
  • Clicking on a topic triggers all relevant connections so the map is not flat or static.
  • Uncertainty about money triggers other kinds of uncertainty.
  • Sugar and refined wheat should be avoided for kids with food-related hyperactivity triggers.
  • And the aggressive recruitment of top students and talented athletes triggers a race to enhance amenities and facilities.
British Dictionary definitions for triggers

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 triggers

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 triggers

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 triggers

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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10
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