top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce trigger (audio)

Dictionary definition of trigger

To initiate or cause a particular response, event, or chain of events.
"A sudden temperature change can trigger a migraine in some people."

Detailed meaning of trigger

When something triggers, it serves as a stimulus or catalyst that sets off a reaction or prompts a specific behavior or outcome. The trigger can be a physical or psychological cue that activates a response, such as a sudden loud noise triggering a startle reflex. It can also refer to the activation of a mechanism, process, or system through a specific action or condition. In a figurative sense, triggering can involve provoking strong emotions or memories in an individual, often associated with past trauma or sensitivity. Understanding triggers and their effects is important in various contexts, such as psychological therapy, emergency situations, or technological systems where specific inputs or events initiate a predefined response.

Example sentences containing trigger

1. If you press that button, it will trigger the alarm.
2. Loud noises trigger my dog’s anxiety.
3. The discussion about politics might trigger a heated debate.
4. The software update will trigger a system reboot.
5. The video game allows players to trigger special abilities by pressing a combination of keys.
6. Adding vinegar to baking soda will trigger a chemical reaction.

History and etymology of trigger

The verb 'trigger' has its origins in the English word 'tricker,' which can be traced back to the Dutch 'trekken' and Middle Dutch 'trecken,' both meaning 'to pull' or 'to draw.' Over time, 'trigger' evolved to signify the act of initiating or causing a specific response, event, or chain of events. Just as one pulls a trigger to set a firearm into action, the word 'trigger' metaphorically represents the action that prompts a reaction, making it a pivotal term in discussions related to cause and effect.

Quiz: Find the meaning of trigger

Try Again!


Further usage examples of trigger

1. Turning the key in the ignition will trigger the car to start.
2. Exposing the sensor to light will trigger the camera to take a picture.
3. Sending a specific text code to the security system will trigger the alarm to turn off.
4. Changing the settings of the application might trigger unintended consequences.
5. Reading her favorite book always helps to trigger her creativity.
6. The loud noise can trigger anxiety in some people.
7. A small spark can trigger a massive wildfire.
8. His words seemed to trigger her sudden anger.
9. The alarm will trigger if there's any unauthorized access.
10. The economic crisis could trigger a recession.
11. The scent of flowers can trigger memories of spring.
12. The debate is likely to trigger heated discussions.
13. The news of the earthquake triggered widespread panic.
14. A faulty wire could trigger a power outage.
15. Certain foods may trigger allergic reactions.
16. The decision to cut funding could trigger layoffs.
17. His reckless behavior may trigger disciplinary action.
18. A drop in sales can trigger financial problems.
19. The discovery of a new species can trigger excitement.
20. A peaceful protest shouldn't trigger violence.
21. The policy change could trigger protests.
22. A smile can trigger positive emotions in others.
23. Stress can trigger various health issues.
24. A simple misunderstanding can trigger conflicts.
25. A green light will trigger the automated system.


activate, quell, suppress, halt


TOEFL 6, Consequences and Reactions, Actions and Manoeuvres

bottom of page