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Originally tricker, from Dutch trekker (pull, noun, as in drawer-pull, bell-pull), from trekken (to drag, draw, pull).



trigger (plural triggers)

  1. A finger-operated lever used to fire a gun.
    Just pull the trigger.
  2. A similar device used to activate any mechanism.
  3. An event that initiates others, or incites a response.
    Sleeping in an unfamiliar room can be a trigger for sleepwalking.
  4. A concept or image that upsets somebody.
    I can't watch that violent film. Blood is one of my triggers.
  5. (psychology) An event, experience or other stimulus that initiates a traumatic memory or action in a person.
  6. (music) An electronic transducer allowing a drum, cymbal, etc. to control an electronic drum unit or similar device.
  7. (music) A device that manually lengthens (or sometimes shortens) the slide or tubing of a brass instrument, allowing the pitch range to be altered while playing.
  8. (electronics) A pulse in an electronic circuit that initiates some component.
  9. (databases) An SQL procedure that may be initiated when a record is inserted, updated or deleted; typically used to maintain referential integrity.
  10. (online gaming) A text string that, when received by a player, will cause the player to execute a certain command.
  11. (archaic) A catch to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


trigger (third-person singular simple present triggers, present participle triggering, simple past and past participle triggered)

  1. (transitive) To fire a weapon.
    • 2011, Baggott, Jim, The First War of Physics, Pegasus Books, →ISBN:
      A U235 bomb would therefore need to incorporate a gun weighing ten tons. Then there was the question of initiating or triggering the bomb.
  2. (transitive) To initiate something.
    The controversial article triggered a deluge of angry letters from readers.
  3. (transitive) To spark a response, especially a negative emotional response, in (someone).
    This story contains a rape scene and may be triggering for rape victims.



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