Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to trigger: Trigger finger

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

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: 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

able to react quickly to a situation He was quick on the draw answering the reporter's questions.
Usage notes: sometimes said about a person who reacts too quickly to a situation and makes serious mistakes
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of quick on the draw (able to take out and shoot a gun quickly)
See also: draw, quick


someone who is trigger-happy uses their gun too often and without thinking carefully The book's main character is a trigger-happy New York detective.

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, 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


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.


mod. eager to fire a gun; eager to shoot someone or something. Rocko is sort of trigger-happy. Watch out.
References in periodicals archive ?
While a stock AR-15 trigger can be fairly heavy, careful tuning and polishing of the components can result in an improved trigger pull.
To learn more I interviewed Fayez Mohamood, co-founder and CEO at Bluecore, to discuss the four additional merchandising triggers, beyond cart abandonment, marketers are ignoring.
It will look at how the presence of trigger points in shoulder musculature can be accurately diagnosed, whether there is an obvious difference in the number of trigger points between painful and pain-free shoulders, how trigger points affect the shoulder musculature and whether specific treatment of trigger points will lead to a decrease in the pain experienced by the patient.
It was very obvious that if we were going to use a wrist-strap release, a consistent trigger pull would improve our accuracy.
Since the dawn of organized "target pistol shooting" in the 19th century, trigger finger placement assumed a heavy pistol that hung steady on a still target, with a very light trigger pull a layman might even call a "hair trigger," and ample time to aim and release the shot.
Analog triggers typically have a long re-arm cycle, and while re-arming, the instrument cannot react to trigger events, which means signal properties that should act as triggers are masked.
The DI would not have significant OID and would not trigger the AHYDO provisions; see Exhibit 2 for the "annual" significant OID calculation.
The defender normally guarding the Trigger (X5 in both diagrams) serves as a helpside defender in discouraging lob passes to any of the front line offensive pass receivers.
The first trigger is the insured loss of the buyer, the indemnity; the second trigger is the loss to the underlying insurance industry as a whole, the original insured industry loss.
In an upcoming Physical Review Letters, Taleyarkhan's team presents evidence of fusion in bubbles initiated by a uranium-based trigger that emits alpha particles instead of neutrons.
Two of the mills mentioned that, to be able to solve any problems at all, they had to raise the trigger from a level of 3 hours of equivalent production loss in prime tons to the equivalent of 8 hours prime tons production loss.
Single-action firearms feature a hammer that requires manual cocking for the initial firing and a trigger press that demands only a few pounds of pressure.
Third, find a release with an adjustable trigger so you can achieve the perfect trigger tension.
A trigger is a detectable state or event that indicates change has occurred or will occur.
The EPA will propose regulatory changes to the NSR program that would trigger NSR only when pollution increases were measured for an entire facility, rather than at each unit of a plant as occurs under the existing regulations.