half cock

noun

1
: the position of the hammer of a firearm when about half retracted and held by the sear so that it cannot be operated by a pull on the trigger
2
chiefly British : a state of inadequate preparation or mental confusion
go off at half cock

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1676, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of half cock was circa 1676

Dictionary Entries Near half cock

Cite this Entry

“Half cock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half%20cock. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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