Meaning of TRIGGER in English


I. trig ‧ ger 1 AC /ˈtrɪɡə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Dutch ; Origin: trekker , from Middle Dutch trecken 'to pull' ; ⇨ ↑ trek 2 ]

1 . the part of a gun that you pull with your finger to fire it

pull/squeeze the trigger

He took aim and squeezed the trigger.

2 . be the trigger (point) (for something) to be the thing that quickly causes a serious problem:

The hijacking became a trigger point for military action.

II. trigger 2 AC BrE AmE ( also trigger off ) verb [transitive]

1 . to make something happen very quickly, especially a series of events:

The assassination triggered off a wave of rioting.

Certain forms of mental illness can be triggered by food allergies.

trigger a memory (=make you suddenly remember something)

His action triggered a massive response from the government.

2 . to make something such as a bomb or electrical system start to operate SYN set off :

The burglars fled after triggering the alarm.

• • •


▪ cause to make something happen, especially something bad:

Bad weather has caused a lot of problems on the roads.


The fault caused the whole computer system to shut down.

▪ make somebody/something do something to cause someone to do something, or cause something to happen. Make is less formal than cause , and is the usual word to use in everyday English:

What made you decide to become a teacher?


I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.


Gravity is the force which makes the planets move round the Sun.

▪ be responsible for something if someone or something is responsible for something bad, they caused it to happen:

The excessive heat was responsible for their deaths.


A small militant group was responsible for the bombing.

▪ bring about something to make something happen – used especially about changes or improvements:

The Internet has brought about enormous changes in society.


It’s important that we do everything we can to bring about peace.

▪ result in something if an action or event results in something, it makes that thing happen:

The fire resulted in the deaths of two children.


The decision is likely to result in a large number of job losses.

▪ lead to something to cause something to happen eventually after a period of time:

The information led to several arrests.


A poor diet in childhood can lead to health problems later in life.

▪ trigger if one event triggers another, it suddenly makes the second event happen:

The incident triggered a wave of violence.


An earthquake off Java’s southern coast triggered a tsunami.

▪ precipitate formal to make a very serious event happen very suddenly, which will affect a lot of people:

The withdrawal of foreign investment would precipitate an economic crisis.


The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand precipitated World War I.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.