panic button


Definition of panic button

: something setting off a precipitous emergency response there was no pushing of panic buttons at the White House, no rushing of troops— J. C. Harsch

Examples of panic button in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, his hand nowhere near the panic button. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Reports of the demise of USC football may have been premature," 8 Sep. 2019 Time to hit the panic button at Tennessee and UCLA. Matt Murschel,, "10 things we learned during college football Week 2," 1 Sep. 2019 The panic button: Hogan and Rypien are cut and the Broncos sign a backup from outside the franchise. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Hogan vs. Rypien: Broncos’ backup quarterback undecided entering preseason finale," 27 Aug. 2019 In the wake of Houston’s death, Thresholds boosted security at its residential sites by adding panic buttons, security cameras and door locking mechanisms while also increasing staffing levels. Elyssa Cherney,, "A former state ward is accused of killing a mental health worker in Chicago. Staff tried to raise safety concerns before his death.," 12 June 2019 Another issue is with the red panic button on police radios that can be pressed to indicate an officer in distress. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Eustis touts $248K savings from proposed switch to Lake Sheriff’s Office for police dispatching," 15 Aug. 2019 The biggest lesson being learned by this particular group of Padres is that panic buttons belong in the past. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: No matter pain of Cardinals loss, Padres remain interesting and in it," 30 June 2019 Luckily, the queen was able to press the panic button in her room to alert the palace that someone had illegally entered the premises. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "A Random Man Entered Buckingham Palace While the Queen Was Asleep," 11 July 2019 Once the panic button is pushed, the Generalized-Anxiety Home-Security System will immediately drain the house of fifty per cent of its oxygen. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, "Your New Generalized-Anxiety Home-Security System," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'panic button.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of panic button

1948, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for panic button

Last Updated

25 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for panic button

The first known use of panic button was in 1948

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More Definitions for panic button

panic button


English Language Learners Definition of panic button

: a button in a bank, store, etc., that a person can press to call for help during an emergency (such as a robbery)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with panic button

Comments on panic button

What made you want to look up panic button? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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