hit the panic button

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hit 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 hit the panic button every time your company has a minor setback. New parents tend to hit the panic button over every little sniffle their first baby gets. You learn to chill out when you have more kids.
See also: button, hit, panic
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
I won't start hitting the panic button yet, but we're down there with a few other clubs."
However, Lappin is not hitting the panic button. He said: "We didn't create many clear-cut scoring chances against Dunfermline but we deserved to shade it.
But despite Saints' 1-1 draw with Finnish side VPS Vaasa in the UEFA Cup he isn't hitting the panic button yet.
"There's a lot of games to be played so it's too early for me to be hitting the panic button.
It has accused the council of hitting the panic button and coming up with a "one size fits all solution" which could "saddle taxpayers with huge bills".
Peterhead boss Ian Wilson said: "We were second best in every department but I'm not hitting the panic button yet - we lost our first three last season and turned it around."
"I wasn't hitting the panic button because I know full well what our players are capable of and thankfully they're starting to show that now.
GRAHAM HENRY accused the British Lions of hitting the panic button after they blew their unbeaten tour record.