quick on the draw


Also found in: Acronyms.

quick on the draw

1. Literally, very quick at drawing one's gun in readiness to shoot it. The gunfighter was so quick on the draw that he often shot his enemies before they reached their own gun.
2. By extension, understanding, anticipating, or reacting to a given situation or circumstance very quickly. You have to be quick on the draw if you want to get ahead in the world of business. Faced with criticism by environmentalists, the company's PR rep was quick on the draw and pointed out its important role in job creation for the local community. John is quick on the draw to defend himself when criticized.
See also: draw, on, quick
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, on, quick
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

quick on the draw

very fast in acting or reacting.
The draw is the action of taking a pistol or other weapon from its holster.
See also: draw, on, quick
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

quick on the draw/trigger

Fast to act or react. The term comes from the gunslingers of the American West and was transferred to other kinds of quick reaction in the first half of the twentieth century. The literal meaning of quick on the trigger is a century older, appearing in a letter of 1808: “I trust that all your Aids will be quick on the trigger” (M. L. Weems, in E. E. F. Skeel, M. L. Weems: Works and Ways).
See also: draw, on, quick, trigger
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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