hair trigger
noun Date: 1802 a gun trigger so adjusted as to permit the firearm to be fired by a very slight pressure

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hair trigger — Hair Hair (h[^a]r), n. [OE. her, heer, h[ae]r, AS. h[=ae]r; akin to OFries. h[=e]r, D. & G. haar, OHG. & Icel. h[=a]r, Dan. haar, Sw. h[*a]r; cf. Lith. kasa.] 1. The collection or mass of filaments growing from the skin of an animal, and forming… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hair-trigger — 1830, originally a secondary trigger in a firearm which sprung free a mechanism (HAIR (Cf. hair)) which, when set, allowed the main TRIGGER (Cf. trigger) to be released by very slight force. Figurative use by 1841 …   Etymology dictionary

  • hair-trigger — adj [only before noun] easily made angry ▪ his hair trigger temperament …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hair-trigger — adj [only before noun] easily made angry ▪ his hair trigger temperament …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hair-trigger — adjective needing only a slight influence to cause a reaction: a hair trigger temper …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • hair-trigger — [her′trig΄ər] adj. [see HAIR TRIGGER] set in motion or operation by a very slight impulse …   English World dictionary

  • hair trigger — n a ↑trigger 1 on a gun that needs very little pressure to fire the gun …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hair trigger — n a ↑trigger 1 on a gun that needs very little pressure to fire the gun …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hair trigger — ► NOUN ▪ a firearm trigger set for release at the slightest pressure …   English terms dictionary

  • hair trigger — n. a trigger so delicately adjusted that a very slight pressure on it discharges the firearm …   English World dictionary

  • hair-trigger — /hair trig euhr/, adj. easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause: a hair trigger temper. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium

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