half cock
noun Date: 1745 1. the position of the hammer of a firearm when about half retracted and held by the sear so that it cannot be operated by a pull on the trigger 2. chiefly British a state of inadequate preparation or mental confusion <
go off at half cock
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • half cock — half′ cock′ n. mil (on a firearm) the position of the hammer when held by the sear halfway between the firing and retracted positions so that the weapon cannot be fired • Etymology: 1695–1705 …   From formal English to slang

  • half cock — n. the halfway position of the hammer of a firearm, when the trigger is locked and cannot be pulled …   English World dictionary

  • half-cock — noun the partly raised position of the cock of a gun. Phrases at half cock when only partly ready. Derivatives half cocked adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • half cock — noun 1. : the position of the hammer of a firearm when about half retracted and held by the sear so that it cannot be operated by a pull on the trigger 2. : a state of inadequate preparation or mental confusion used with at the whole project went …   Useful english dictionary

  • half cock — see go off at half cock half 1 (11) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • half-cock — /haf kok , hahf /, v.t. to set the hammer of (a firearm) at half cock. [1825 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • half-cock — UK / US noun go off at half cock …   English dictionary

  • half-cock —    The position of the hammer of a firearm when about half retracted and held by the sear so that it cannot be operated by a normal pull of the trigger …   Forensic science glossary

  • half cock — the position of the hammer of a firearm when held halfway between the firing and retracted positions by a mechanism so that it will not operate. [1695 1705] * * * …   Universalium

  • half-cock — /haf ˈkɒk / (say hahf kok) noun the position of the hammer of a firearm when held halfway by mechanism so that it will not operate …   Australian English dictionary

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