panic

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Related to panicked: panic attack

press the panic button

To overreact to a negative situation with an inordinate amount of fear, alarm, or confusion. If you're going to be a successful boss, you can't press the panic button every time your company has a minor setback. New parents tend to press the panic button over every little sniffle their first baby gets.
See also: button, panic, press

hit the panic button

 and press the panic button; push the panic button
Fig. to panic suddenly. She hit the panic button and just went to pieces. Don't press the panic button. Relax and keep your eyes open.
See also: button, hit, panic

panic at something

to lose control in a frightening or shocking situation. Try not to panic at what you see. It will be a shock. Don't panic at the price of food. It will be worse next week.
See also: panic

panic someone by something

to make someone lose control by doing something. She panicked Denise by describing the event too vividly. She panicked her horse by jerking the reins too tightly.
See also: panic

push the panic button

to react to a situation with fear and confusion Our coach isn't about to push the panic button just because we've lost two games in a row.
Usage notes: sometimes used with other verbs that have a similar meaning, such as press and hit: It's too early to hit the panic button, but our stocks lost half their value today.
See also: button, panic, push

hit/press/push the panic button

to do something quickly without thinking about it in order to deal with a difficult or worrying situation (often negative) We may have lost the last three games but we're not pushing the panic button yet.
See also: button, hit, panic

panic stations

  (British & Australian informal)
a time when you feel extremely anxious and you must act quickly because something needs to be done urgently No matter how organized you think you are, one hour before the show starts it's panic stations.
See also: panic, station

push the panic button

Also, press the panic button. Overreact to a situation, as in Don't worry; Jane is always pushing the panic button, but I'm sure the baby's fine. This term originated during World War II, when certain bombers had a bell-warning system so that the crew could bail out if the plane was severely hit. Occasionally a pilot would push the button in error, when there was only minor damage, causing the crew to bail out unnecessarily. By 1950 the expression had been transferred to other kinds of overreaction.
See also: button, panic, push

hit the panic button

and press the panic button and push the panic button
tv. to panic. She hit the panic button and just went to pieces. Don’t press the panic button until you think it through.
See also: button, hit, panic

press the panic button

verb
See also: button, panic, press

push the panic button

verb
See also: button, panic, push

panic

n. a very funny or exciting person or thing. Paul is a panic. He tells a joke a minute.