push the panic button

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push 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 push the panic button every time your company has a minor setback. New parents tend to push the panic button over every little sniffle their first baby gets. You learn to chill out when you have more kids.
See also: button, panic, push

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

press/push the ˈpanic button

(British English) react in a sudden or an extreme way to something unexpected that has frightened you: Although the team lost yet another match on Saturday, their manager is refusing to press the panic button.
See also: button, panic, press, push

push the panic button

verb
See also: button, panic, push
References in periodicals archive ?
Kenyon said no-one was ready to start pushing the panic button in the hunt for new recruits, ruling out completely any chance of a last-ditch bid to sign Blackburn's Damien Duff.
We are not pushing the panic button yet but we are getting very close - trust me.
By the time John Terry deflected substitute Henrik Pedersen's last-minute cross into his own net, Chelsea looked a bedraggled unit, though Ranieri's response when asked if he played too many tired players proved he is not pushing the panic button yet.
Perry is anxious Tynemouth take no chances this season, though he insists that the club are not pushing the panic button.
Two points might be OK from those games - but if they haven't won in those two, you wouldn't quite be pushing the panic button but I would suspect it's only going to get rougher and rougher.
A nurse came and I remember her pushing the panic button.
And, as he blasted back at PSG president Francis Graille's verbal assault on the club, Kenyon also stated no-one was ready to start pushing the panic button in the hunt for new recruits, ruling out any chance of a last-ditch bid to sign Blackburn's Damien Duff.
It is believed he ran to his neighbour's home at around 11pm on Thursday after pushing the panic button in his EUR360,000 house at Castleview, Castleconnell, which Dolores bought him after her EUR106million win two and a half years ago.
Now we're hovering above the danger zone - although there is no question of pushing the panic button.
Barker is not pushing the panic button, though, as they enter the Christmas period.