trigger

(redirected from a trigger)

an itchy trigger finger

1. An inclination or readiness to shoot a gun (especially at someone) without needing much or any provocation or justification. I wouldn't stay too long around here—there are a lot of people with itchy trigger fingers in this part of town.
2. By extension, an inclination, readiness, or tendency to act or react carelessly, rashly, or without due consideration. John's itchy trigger finger is going to get him into trouble with his boss someday. When you're working in a restaurant, it's important not to have an itchy trigger finger when customers come to you with complaints.
See also: finger, itchy, trigger

pull the trigger (on something)

To make a final decision or commit to a certain course of action (about something). Jeff's been hemming and hawing about which car to buy—I wish he would just pull the trigger already! If we don't pull the trigger on this deal then we might never get the chance again.
See also: pull, trigger

trigger

1. noun Something that causes one psychological distress, typically because it reminds them of a past trauma. The graphic descriptions in that article were a trigger for me.
2. verb To cause psychological distress in someone, typically by reminding them of a past trauma. This article might be triggering for child abuse survivors.

trigger warning

A statement at the beginning of an article or video advising that its content might be upsetting, especially for trauma survivors. At least that graphic article came with a trigger warning.
See also: trigger, warning

quick on the draw

1. Literally, very quick at drawing one's gun in readiness to shoot it. The gunfighter was so quick on the draw that he often shot his enemies before they reached their own gun.
2. By extension, understanding, anticipating, or reacting to a given situation or circumstance very quickly. You have to be quick on the draw if you want to get ahead in the world of business. Faced with criticism by environmentalists, the company's PR rep was quick on the draw and pointed out its important role in job creation for the local community. John is quick on the draw to defend himself when criticized.
See also: draw, on, quick

trigger-happy

1. Eager to use a weapon, i.e. to pull the trigger (of a gun). I know you're trigger-happy, but quit shooting or you'll scare off all the animals!
2. Having a tendency to do something or engage in or begin some activity with even the smallest level of enticement or provocation. Whenever I'm editing, I always get a little trigger-happy with the delete key and end up having to add some things back later. Don't pass to Rick. He's trigger-happy and shoots ever time he gets the ball.

quick on the trigger

 and quick on the draw 
1. Lit. quick to draw a gun and shoot. Some of the old cowboys were known to be quick on the trigger. Wyatt Earp was particularly quick on the draw.
2. Fig. quick to respond to anything. John gets the right answer before anyone else. He's really quick on the trigger. Sally will probably win the quiz game. She's really quick on the draw.
See also: on, quick, trigger

trigger someone off

to cause someone to become angry. (Fig. on trigger something off.) Your rude comments triggered her off. Your comments triggered off Bob's temper.
See also: off, trigger

trigger something off

to set something off, such as an explosion. We were afraid that the sparks from the engine would trigger an explosion off. The sparks triggered off an explosion.
See also: off, trigger

quick on the draw

Also, quick on the trigger. Rapid in acting or reacting, as in You have to be quick on the draw if you want to find low-rent housing here, or Bruce was quick on the trigger when it came to answering questions. The first expression came from the American West's gunslingers and was broadened to mean "a quick reaction" in the first half of the 1900s. The variant originated about 1800.
See also: draw, on, quick

trigger happy

Inclined to act violently at the slightest provocation, as in They feared that the President was trigger happy and would send in troops at the drop of a hat . This expression alludes to being too eager to fire a gun. [c. 1940]
See also: happy, trigger

trigger happy

If someone is trigger happy, they are too willing to use a gun. The firing continued throughout the night, trigger happy soldiers making sleep impossible.
See also: happy, trigger

quick on the draw

very fast in acting or reacting.
The draw is the action of taking a pistol or other weapon from its holster.
See also: draw, on, quick

trigger

1. n. a hired gunman. (Underworld.) Get your triggers outa here—then we can talk.
2. tv. to start something; to set something off. The noise triggered an avalanche.

trigger-happy

mod. eager to fire a gun; eager to shoot someone or something. Rocko is sort of trigger-happy. Watch out.
References in classic literature ?
Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.
As it came first into view he raised the fowling-piece to his shoulder and, with a practised eye and steady hand, drew a trigger.
Mushy, Gritty: A trigger pull with inconsistent, unpredictable creep and steps.
A trigger with a fast reset is called snappy; one with slow reset, sluggish.
The Angels are 1 1/2 games out of first place behind the A's in the American League West, but one of the reasons they couldn't pull a trigger on a deal for Alfonso Soriano or Miguel Tejada, was the health of Bartolo Colon.
Until such a trigger event, no income tax is payable by E on the bonus, and A cannot deduct such amount as compensation.