trigger Definition

  • 1a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun
  • 2an event or circumstance that causes something to happen, especially one that is bad or undesirable

Using trigger: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "trigger" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He pulled the trigger and the gun went off.

  • Example

    The sound of the alarm was the trigger for panic among the crowd.

  • Example

    The article was the trigger for a heated debate on social media.

  • Example

    Her words were the trigger that caused him to lose his temper.

trigger Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for trigger

Phrases with trigger

  • a trigger of a firearm that responds to very slight pressure


    Be careful with that gun, it has a hair trigger.

  • trigger warning

    a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material


    The movie had a trigger warning for scenes of violence and abuse.

  • to make a decision or take action, especially one that is difficult or risky


    After months of deliberation, he finally decided to pull the trigger and start his own business.

Origins of trigger

from Dutch 'trecker', meaning 'a trigger'


Summary: trigger in Brief

The term 'trigger' [ˈtrɪɡər] refers to a device that sets off a mechanism, such as firing a gun, or an event that causes something to happen, often negative. Examples include 'He pulled the trigger and the gun went off.' and 'The article was the trigger for a heated debate on social media.' Phrases like 'hair trigger' denote a sensitive trigger, while 'pull the trigger' means to make a difficult decision or take action.

How do native speakers use this expression?