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[hair-trig-er] /ˈhɛərˌtrɪg ər/

easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause:
a hair-trigger temper.
a trigger that allows the firing mechanism of a firearm to be operated by very slight pressure.
a trigger of a firearm that responds to very slight pressure


1830, originally a secondary trigger in a firearm which sprung free a mechanism (hair) which, when set, allowed the main trigger (n.) to be released by very slight force. Figurative use by 1841.


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