from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The lever pressed by the finger to discharge a firearm.
  • n. A similar device used to release or activate a mechanism.
  • n. An event that precipitates other events.
  • n. Electronics A pulse or circuit that initiates the action of another component.
  • transitive v. To set off; initiate: remarks that triggered bitter debates.
  • transitive v. To fire or explode (a weapon or an explosive charge).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A finger-operated lever used to fire a gun.
  • n. A similar device used to activate any mechanism.
  • n. An event that initiates others, or incites a response.
  • n. An event, experience or other stimulus that initiates a traumatic memory or action in a person.
  • n. A pulse in an electronic circuit that initiates some component.
  • n. An SQL procedure that may be initiated when a record is inserted, updated or deleted; typically used to maintain referential integrity.
  • n. A text string that, when received by a player, will cause the player to execute a certain command.
  • n. A catch to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity.
  • v. to fire a weapon
  • v. to initiate something

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A catch to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity.
  • n. A piece, as a lever, which is connected with a catch or detent as a means of releasing it; especially (Firearms), the part of a lock which is moved by the finger to release the cock and discharge the piece.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any device by means of which a catch or spring is released and a trap sprung or other mechanism set in action; specifically, in firearms, a small projecting tongue of steel which, when pressed, liberates the hammer of the lock; by extension, in crossbows and similar arms, the lever which, when pressed, liberates the string of the bow. See hair-trigger, and cuts under gun, revolver, and rifle.
  • n. A catch to hold the wheel of a carriage on a declivity.
  • n. In ship-building, a wooden piece employed to hold up a dogshore. It is removed just before launching, when the dogshore is knocked away.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a device that activates or releases or causes something to happen
  • n. an act that sets in motion some course of events
  • n. lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun
  • v. put in motion or move to act
  • v. release or pull the trigger on


Dutch trekker, from Middle Dutch trecker, from trecken, to pull.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Originally tricker, from Dutch trekker, from trekken ("to drag, draw, pull"). (Wiktionary)



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