Definition of hair trigger in English:

Share this entry

hair trigger

Pronunciation: /ˈhe(ə)r ˈˌtriɡər/


1A trigger of a firearm set for release at the slightest pressure.
Example sentences
  • It had a hair trigger, and the gun went off, still pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Their new idea was that the feedback mechanism had a hair trigger set off by ocean currents.
  • Being drunk always made his emotions on a hair trigger and his control over them lax.
1.1 (as modifier hair-trigger) Liable to change suddenly and violently: a hair-trigger temper
More example sentences
  • This is a post about the hair-trigger temper of a populace under the twin pressures of occupation and random horrible violence.
  • He was an intense little man with a hair-trigger temper, but he was quite serious about the costumes he built and the way he performed in them.
  • E-mail's stripped-down, free-form nature sets off workers' hair-trigger responses and lends itself to venting rude behavior, much as road rage overtakes people in the bubble of their cars.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hair trig·ger

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.