Definition of press or push or hit the panic button in English:
informal Respond to a situation by panicking or taking emergency measures.
- Our central bankers responded by hitting the panic button, provoking an abrupt and dramatic change in market perceptions.
- Panic buys have been replaced by pressing the panic button and jettisoning the guy in charge of the team.
- We are mindful of that but it is not a situation where we think it necessary to press the panic button.