1

trigger

noun trig·ger \ ˈtri-gər \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of trigger

1 a : a piece (such as a lever) connected with a catch or detent as a means of releasing it; especially : the part of the action moved by the finger to fire a gun
b : a similar movable part by which a mechanism is actuated
  • trigger of a spray gun
2 : something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction

triggered

play \ˈtri-gərd\ adjective

Recent Examples of trigger from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of trigger

alteration of earlier tricker, from Dutch trekker, from Middle Dutch trecker one that pulls, from trecken to pull — more at trek

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms


2

trigger

verb

Definition of trigger

triggered; triggering play \ˈtri-g(ə-)riŋ\
1 a : to release or activate by means of a trigger; especially : to fire by pulling a mechanical trigger
  • trigger a rifle
b : to cause the explosion of
  • trigger a missile with a proximity fuse
2 : to initiate, actuate, or set off by a trigger
  • an indiscreet remark that triggered a fight
  • a stimulus that triggered a reflex
3 : to cause an intense and usually negative emotional reaction in (someone)
  • Water had a way of triggering my brother and making ordinary, everyday weather take a frightening turn for the worse.
  • —Ingrid Law
: to release a mechanical trigger

Examples of trigger in a Sentence

  1. Smoke triggered the fire alarm.

  2. The timer was set to trigger the bomb in exactly one hour.

  3. His remarks triggered a public outcry.

  4. Certain foods trigger his headaches.

  5. The power outage was triggered by heavy rains.

Recent Examples of trigger from the Web

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

First Known Use of trigger

1916

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
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TRIGGER Defined for English Language Learners

trigger

Definition of trigger for English Language Learners

  • : a lever on a gun that you pull to fire the gun

  • : something that causes something else to happen


trigger

Definition of trigger for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (something, such as an alarm) to start functioning

  • : to cause (a bomb) to explode

  • : to cause (something) to start or happen


TRIGGER Defined for Kids

trigger

noun trig·ger \ ˈtri-gər \

Definition of trigger for Students

: the part of the lock of a gun that is pressed to release the hammer so that it will fire


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very hard to disturb or upset

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