press the button

press the button

1. To initiate a war with another country, especially a nuclear war. Many fear that the recent decision to restrict the country's access to foreign oil and other imports may drive their leader to press the button.
2. By extension, to initiate or instigate something. After debating it with myself for nearly a year, I decided to press the button and start my own company.
See also: button, press

press the button

initiate an action or train of events. informal
During the cold war period, this expression was often used with reference to the possible action of the US or Soviet presidents in starting a nuclear war.
See also: button, press
References in periodicals archive ?
Simply pop the pod in a Dolce Gusto machine (PS30 on Amazon), press the button and voila!
That's if they change at all - sometimes I've had to press the button three times before the lights finally realise that someone would like to cross and change to red.
"I spoke to a few voters who said the presiding officer was whispering to them that they need to press the button which is inked.
Committee member Cllr Phil Gilchrist told the meeting he was "not very good at coordinating [himself]", adding: "There was a confusion in my mind as to whether I turn my microphone on and then press the button or which to do [first].
This is the first time that Jabir presses the Golden Buzzer in the first episode in any "Arabs Got Talent" season, as he usually likes to press the button in the final episodes or auditions.
I press the button even though I suspect it doesn't do anything.
Set out the targets to design your Play Monster's Ultra Dash course; press the button on the tagger to choose your game; and then race to match the color of the flashes with the targets.
IN the run-up to the election, everyone was concerned that Jeremy would not be first to "press the button".
Keith, originally from Hong Kong, but now living in Edinburgh, said: "If we were in danger from another country threatening us with nuclear weapons, I would press the button to protect us.
There is a button and you can press the button and you share your food with a child that has nothing to eat.
If you're out and about but come into difficulties, press the button and you'll be transferred to a healthcare professional who you can talk to you through the watch.
Shortly after this, I observed a gentleman in a wheelchair being pushed across the crossing without stopping to press the button which was well within reach.
"BJP in its complaint stated that while addressing people, Jogi asked them to press the button bearing 'Punja Chhap' - the Congress symbol of hand - on EVMs" District Election Officer LS Ken told PTI news agency.
In case of panic, a user will have to press the button and a message will be sent to the PCR and other contacts attached to the button," said a police officer explaining the software.
Sally, who was allowed to press the button to detonate the device after it was buried in a field, said: "We always assumed it wasn't live, even though it had the pin in."