Definition of trigger in English:

trigger

noun

  • 1A small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun:

    ‘he pulled the trigger of the shotgun’
    • ‘As you said, it's perhaps a trigger for a nuclear device and for a dirty bomb as well.’
    • ‘Colt's answer was a design that prevents the pistol from firing unless the trigger is depressed.’
    • ‘A trick here is to release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid excess caulk oozing out.’
    • ‘Many handbow archers use sights, and latches with triggers called mechanical releases.’
    • ‘Before you pull the trigger, be absolutely sure of your target and what's behind it.’
    • ‘Press the trigger to fire, and the missile is on its way, its own IR seeker taking over.’
    • ‘When released by the gun's mechanical triggers, the coil spring strikers trip a rocker that impacts the firing pin.’
    • ‘Taking vigilant aim she pulled the hammer back seized the trigger and fired.’
    • ‘The starter nodded, plugged his ear and pulled the trigger on the shotgun.’
    • ‘There is a manual trigger block safety catch located on the left/rear of the frame.’
    • ‘Both eyes wide open I fumbled for the trigger and fired off three shots.’
    • ‘As he moved to pull the trigger I caught a flash of movement behind him.’
    • ‘The teacher sighed and quickly pulled the trigger of the shotgun as an explosive noise ran to all directions.’
    • ‘Don't pull the trigger when the safety is engaged or positioned anywhere between safe and fire.’
    • ‘He chuckled and pulled the trigger, firing at the targets even though he wasn't in the booths.’
    • ‘He wrestled his finger free from the trigger and turned to fire again.’
    • ‘Bullets impacted the floor around me as I pulled the trigger and fired back.’
    • ‘Now he just had to pull the trigger to launch the missile.’
    • ‘Your finger may straighten with a snap - like a trigger being pulled and released.’
    • ‘The pan cover either slid open automatically upon the trigger being pulled or had to be slid open manually first.’
    1. 1.1 An event that is the cause of a particular action, process, or situation:
      ‘the trigger for the strike was the closure of a mine’
      • ‘Anger triggers are situations in which expectations of fair play are violated.’
      • ‘If certain events are identified as triggers, it may be easier to deal with the stress of them.’
      • ‘Event triggers and in-game cinematics will then guide you although you will determine how a mission will be accomplished.’
      • ‘Your child's triggers will determine what steps you need to take to prevent asthma flare-ups where you're staying.’
      • ‘There is still much speculation concerning initiating triggers.’
      • ‘It has also codified a number of issues such as retrenchment and dismissal which were previously major strike triggers.’
      • ‘This was intended to be a constructive process, not a trigger for criticism, blame, or ill considered actions.’
      • ‘Other triggers include bright lights, stressful situations, and other illnesses such as a cold or stomach bug.’
      • ‘Environmental situations, some chemicals and foods, and a host of other situations are patient-specific triggers.’
      • ‘There is a great deal of debate surrounding the causes or triggers of trichotillomania, complicated by its heterogeneity.’
      • ‘The event acts as a trigger or catalyst, which catapults them into an awareness of this phenomena.’
      • ‘Repeatedly low readings in a certain situation may indicate the trigger.’
      • ‘All these triggers may also cause a relapse in a patient recovering from ME.’
      • ‘Imagining the ridiculous trigger for the situation, Mallory shook her head in bewilderment.’
      • ‘The answers to these questions will help you identify some of the reasons for the decision you made, to help you identify triggers, or situations that may be difficult for you.’
      • ‘Elements such as the circle also contain their own event triggers to tie scripts to the elements.’
      • ‘The election was probably the trigger for the latest wave of terror attacks.’
      • ‘Plus, there aren't any triggers or events in the scenarios, and so the only thing that makes them play differently is the map they take place on, but the maps are a joke.’
      • ‘People search endlessly for a psychological trigger, for a cause, but it can be unhelpful because often there isn't one.’
      • ‘If you know exactly what sets you off, you can be mindful of it and remind yourself of the best ways to react in a trigger situation.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Cause (a device) to function:

    ‘burglars fled empty-handed after triggering the alarm’
    • ‘McCulloch prised off the door panel, triggered the first device and was shot in the arm.’
    • ‘The cable transmits radio waves so when a trolley passes over this boundary a signal is sent via a central transmitter to a receiver on the trolley which triggers a bolt to lock.’
    • ‘The coin was put in the slot that used to trigger the fountain and the last person shot out to the centre of the lake.’
    • ‘A security tag is a small electronic device that triggers an alarm if the product is smuggled outside the showroom.’
    • ‘Each time soap was dispensed, the device was triggered to record one count.’
    • ‘If the photon passes through the mirror, it automatically triggers a light-sensing device, which fires the gun and shoots the cat dead.’
    • ‘With the bills inside the strongbox is an incendiary device triggered by the quantum decay of Cobalt 60.’
    • ‘This operative then either alerts the triggerman or triggers the device himself when a convoy approaches.’
    • ‘These battery-operated devices detect movements that can easily be used to trigger a camera.’
    • ‘When your baby wets, it activates the sensor which triggers flashing lights and an alarm.’
    • ‘When the freezer door closed behind him, immediately triggering the refrigeration fan, Mr Stark thought someone was playing a joke.’
    • ‘Police believe the bomb was triggered by remote control when a truck carrying security officials arrived.’
    • ‘Electronic switches were triggered and the nearest figure moved towards you.’
    • ‘An alarm is triggered if the device is separated from the tag.’
    • ‘The concept of the device is to activate a remote sensor that will trigger the device on the vehicle that will bring it to a stop.’
    • ‘Each machine contains a high-precision electronic switch which triggers atomic bombs.’
    • ‘Then Dr Salmon triggered a mechanism, which unfurled the umbrellas like a flower and anchored them either side of the hole in the heart.’
    • ‘When the sensor is triggered, compressed air rapidly fills the air bags before the user hits the ground and reduces or prevents injury.’
    • ‘Both soldiers simultaneously removed their last stick grenades and triggered the fuses.’
    • ‘But each machine requires a high-precision electronic switch that has a second use: it triggers atomic bombs.’
    activate, set off, set going, trip
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1also trigger something off Cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist:
      ‘an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork’
      • ‘Pinch wounding disrupts the epidermis but not the overlying cuticle and triggers only the events shown in black.’
      • ‘Remember, you have to talk to every single one in order to trigger the event.’
      • ‘The exact cause of psoriasis is not known but it is understood that stress can trigger an outbreak.’
      • ‘Similarly, real downstream demand, not forecasts, triggers production and procurement processes.’
      • ‘Time is inconsequential here and events are triggered by elements of nature.’
      • ‘What specific work of the law triggered this situation is not entirely clear.’
      • ‘The further out on the spectrum of this array, the longer a sequence of events is triggered.’
      • ‘You can reduce the itching, inflammation, and scaling of psoriasis by reducing stress; high stress often triggers outbreaks.’
      • ‘The leaf is modified to form two moving lobes that will close on prey when the trap is triggered via touch-sensitive trichomes.’
      • ‘In her opinion, instability in relationships and separations are not triggering events.’
      • ‘In my experience it takes much more than one solar arc progression to trigger events in a natal chart.’
      • ‘With the prospect of the tragedy triggering a global recession companies lined up in droves to issue profits warnings and swing the axe.’
      • ‘In many parts of the basin, snow stays on the ground for over half the year, and snowmelt usually triggers major high-flow events.’
      • ‘What triggers off this process is not fully understood.’
      • ‘Observers in Ecuador saw the message as a strong hint that triggered the following events.’
      • ‘Very often a death in the family or the breakdown of a marriage triggers the violent outbursts and the dramatic changes in personality.’
      • ‘Here again, the emblem suggests a chain of catastrophic, unspeakable events triggered by irresistible emotions.’
      • ‘That picture triggered a national scandal, not to mention an emotional shock wave that threw his life off course.’
      • ‘She never had heartburn and did not recall triggering events or abnormalities prior to the onset of her symptoms.’
      • ‘With the Internet, an explosion in the demand for home computers was triggered.’
      precipitate, prompt, trigger off, set off, touch off, stimulate, provoke, stir up, fan the flames of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object and infinitive] (of an event or situation) cause (someone) to do something:
      ‘the death of Helen's father triggered her to follow a childhood dream and become a falconer’
      • ‘He said the "non-sunny side" was what finally triggered him to write his resignation letter.’
      • ‘When I lived in Rotterdam, I wasn't triggered to start a label or organize concerts.’
      • ‘Although he only had the one fit, it triggered me to have his medication levels checked.’
      • ‘It was the same overwhelming urge that triggered him to flee the market.’
      • ‘With all these questions revolving in my mind for a long time, a very fruitful talk with a singer triggered me to pen down my thoughts into words.’
      • ‘Other teachers may not have believed it was a wise decision and this triggered me to do more.’
      • ‘I was triggered into action.’
      • ‘Weight problems triggered him quitting his job as a stable jockey.’
      • ‘She heard Annie shout her name and it triggered her into motion.’
      • ‘Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, the album that triggered her into thinking she should have a go herself was Harvest by Neil Young.’
    3. 1.3 (especially of something read, seen, or heard) distress (someone), typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience:
      ‘she started crying and told me that my news had really triggered her’
      ‘people ask how much I weigh but I won't talk about numbers because I know that triggers me’
      • ‘I know the job loss triggered her.’
      • ‘For me as a survivor, I was triggered so I had to leave the room while they were presenting it, because the examples were so real life.’
      • ‘She tried to fake being "okay," pushing herself through situations that triggered her.’
      • ‘She is asserting herself, yet when she does, I am triggered.’
      • ‘While he doesn't want to hurt people, he can't help his rage when he's triggered.’
      • ‘He lives in the country where hunting is common and whenever he hears what could be a gunshot, he's triggered.’
      • ‘I'm triggered by anyone banging on my door.’
      • ‘He recalls one of the many incidents that still trigger him ahead in his mission.’
      • ‘She told me that by telling the student that I was going to defend myself, I triggered her.’
      • ‘Not only does it trigger her every time either of those "men" are in the same room as her, court or not, she and her mother have both spoken openly, saying that the girl wants to leave it behind.’

Phrases

  • quick on the trigger

    • Quick to respond.

      • ‘Apparently they want us to take as many prisoners as possible though, so don't be too quick on the trigger.’
      • ‘Well, as everyone says, she was so funny and so quick and so quick on the trigger, quick on the uptake and so forth.’
      • ‘He's brash, quick on the trigger, and careless, but his character is slowly (slow to the extent of never happening) becoming mature, joining his action with reason.’
      • ‘Gigot acknowledges that many charge that Bartley was too quick on the trigger, that he didn't always wait to ask the questions before he shot.’
      • ‘Rommel was quick on the trigger, attacking all openings with well balanced strikes that could easily deter any simple man or woman.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from dialect tricker, from Dutch trekker, from trekken to pull.

Pronunciation:

trigger

/ˈtrɪɡə/