trigger

/trig"euhr/, n.
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.
5. quick on the trigger, Informal. quick to act or respond; impetuous; alert.
v.t.
6. to initiate or precipitate (a chain of events, scientific reaction, psychological process, etc.): Their small protest triggered a mass demonstration.
7. to fire or explode (a gun, missile, etc.) by pulling a trigger or releasing a triggering device: He accidentally triggered his rifle.
v.i.
8. to release a trigger.
9. to become active; activate.
[1615-25; earlier tricker < D trekker, equiv. to trekk(en) to pull + -er -ER1]

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • trigger — [tʀigœʀ; tʀigɛʀ] n. m. ÉTYM. 1968, Larousse; mot angl., « déclenchement », du néerl. trekker. ❖ ♦ Anglicisme. 1 Techn. Déclencheur, dans une machine à calculer électronique. 2 Méd …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • trigger — (n.) 1650s, earlier tricker (1620s), from Du. trekker trigger, from trekken to pull (see TREK (Cf. trek)). Tricker was the usual form in English until c.1750. The verb is first recorded 1930, from the noun. Trigger happy is attested from 1943 …   Etymology dictionary

  • trigger — [trig′ər] n. [earlier tricker < Du trekker < trekken, to draw, pull: see TREK] 1. a small lever or part which when pulled or pressed releases a catch, spring, etc. 2. in firearms, a small lever pressed back by the finger to activate the… …   English World dictionary

  • Trigger — Trig ger, n. [For older tricker, from D. trekker, fr. trekken to draw, pull. See {Trick}, n.] 1. A catch to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mech.) A piece, as a lever, which is connected with a catch or detent as a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • trigger — The verb has inflected forms triggered, triggering …   Modern English usage

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