Definition of hair trigger in English:

hair trigger


  • 1A trigger of a firearm set for release at the slightest pressure.

    • ‘One squeeze of the hair trigger and Zack would be gone.’
    • ‘Their new idea was that the feedback mechanism had a hair trigger set off by ocean currents.’
    • ‘You'd be like a coiled spring with a hair trigger.’
    • ‘I couldn't help thinking that one of these days, that hair trigger might come in handy.’
    • ‘If you refuse to take it seriously in the first place, it removes one of our key levers of international influence and places the country on a hair trigger.’
    • ‘And her colleague wasn't supposed to fire the hair trigger shotgun that blew the woman away.’
    • ‘It had a hair trigger, and the gun went off, still pointing toward the ceiling.’
    • ‘The legal climate is on a hair trigger.’
    • ‘They have been desperate to avoid setting off an array of landmines with hair triggers.’
    • ‘Others will arm a hair trigger, seeking to use the most readily available information, even if scant.’
    • ‘It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger.’
    • ‘The man operated on a hair trigger and there was little doubt the man went around looking for opportunity to vent the rage that lay beneath the surface.’
    • ‘That's right, it's often called the cycle of violence in which children who are maltreated, later grow up to maltreat others, or have a hair trigger propensity to get engaged in assault themselves.’
    • ‘No sooner had I walked out of the kitchen where the precariously balanced basket was leaning against a hair trigger than SNAP!’
    • ‘Being drunk always made his emotions on a hair trigger and his control over them lax.’
    • ‘And as she mentioned, the Capitol Police is on a hair trigger.’
    • ‘And there's nothing more dangerous than a nervous superpower with its finger on the hair trigger.’
    1. 1.1Liable to change suddenly and violently.
      ‘a hair-trigger temper’
      • ‘He was an intense little man with a hair-trigger temper, but he was quite serious about the costumes he built and the way he performed in them.’
      • ‘E-mail's stripped-down, free-form nature sets off workers' hair-trigger responses and lends itself to venting rude behavior, much as road rage overtakes people in the bubble of their cars.’
      • ‘He has also carved a niche as the great diplomat in a volatile, hair-trigger band that has had as many internal conflicts as hit records.’
      • ‘This is a post about the hair-trigger temper of a populace under the twin pressures of occupation and random horrible violence.’
      • ‘He has done good job this season of playing through the pain of a nagging elbow injury, finishing blocks and controlling his hair-trigger temper.’


hair trigger

/ˈhe(ə)r ˈˌtriɡər/