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trigger Idioms & Phrases

gun trigger

  • noun lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun

Hair trigger

  • noun a gun trigger that responds with little pressure
  • a trigger so constructed as to discharge a firearm by a very slight pressure, as by the touch of a hair. Farrow.
Webster 1913

plutonium trigger

  • noun a steel or beryllium sphere containing plutonium 239 that triggers nuclear fission when compressed by explosives
    plutonium pit.

Trigger fish

  • (Zoöl.), a large plectognath fish (Balistes Carolinensis or B. capriscus) common on the southern coast of the United States, and valued as a food fish in some localities. Its rough skin is used for scouring and polishing in the place of sandpaper. Called also leather jacket, and turbot.
Webster 1913

trigger off

  • verb put in motion or move to act
    activate; touch off; actuate; set off; trigger; spark off; spark; trip.
    • trigger a reaction
    • actuate the circuits


  • adjective satellite irresponsible in the use of firearms
  • adjective satellite marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid
    fierce; vehement; tearing; violent.
    • fierce loyalty
    • in a tearing rage
    • vehement dislike
    • violent passions