Meaning of TRIGGER in English


I. ˈtrigə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: trig (III) + -er

1. chiefly dialect : a catch or block to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity

2. : a block used in shipbuilding to hold a boat on the ways — compare trigger II 1b

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: alteration (probably influenced by trigger ) (I) of earlier tricker, from Dutch trekker, from Middle Dutch trecker something that pulls, from trecken to pull, haul — more at trek

1. : a piece (as a lever) connected with a catch or detent as a means of releasing it: as


(1) : the part of the action of a firearm moved by the finger to release the hammer or firing pin in firing

(2) : a device that fires an explosive

using an A-bomb as trigger for an H-bomb

b. : a lever pivoted on the ground ways with the upper end forced against the sliding ways by a hydraulic ram against the lower end in such a manner that the releasing of the trigger allows a ship to be launched by sliding down the ground ways

2. : something that acts like or is felt to resemble a mechanical trigger especially in being a sensitive means of initiating a process or reaction that produces a relatively large effect ; especially : something (as an external stimulus) that initiates a physiological or pathological process

the odor of food may be a trigger for salivation


[by shortening]

: triggerfish

III. adjective

1. : of, relating to, or associated with a trigger

trigger covers

2. : functioning as or in a manner analogous to a trigger — see trigger mechanism

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to release by pulling a mechanical trigger

trigger a rifle

broadly : to cause the explosion of

trigger a missile with a proximity fuse

2. : to initiate, actuate, or set off especially by means of a comparatively weak impulse

a single neutron may trigger an extensive chain reaction

an indiscreet remark that triggered off a long and costly strike

the complex mechanism that triggers blood clotting

intransitive verb

: to release a mechanical trigger

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.