Definition of “trigger” - English Dictionary

“trigger” in English

See all translations

triggernoun

uk /ˈtrɪɡ.ər/ us /ˈtrɪɡ.ɚ/

triggerverb [ T ]

uk /ˈtrɪɡ.ər/ us /ˈtrɪɡ.ɚ/

C1 to cause something to start:

Some people find that certain foods trigger their headaches.
Ultraviolet-B radiation triggers the skin to produce vitamin D.
The racial killings at the weekend have triggered off a wave of protests.

More examples

(Definition of “trigger” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“trigger” in American English

See all translations

triggernoun [ C ]

us /ˈtrɪɡ·ər/

trigger noun [ C ] (GUN PART)

a part of a gun that causes the gun to fire when pressed:

to pull the trigger

triggerverb [ T ]

us /ˈtrɪɡ·ər/

trigger verb [ T ] (START)

to cause something to start:

I triggered the smoke alarm when I burned the potatoes.
Eating chocolate can trigger a migraine headache in some people.

(Definition of “trigger” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“trigger” in Business English

See all translations

triggernoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk /ˈtrɪɡər/ us

an event, situation, etc. that causes the start of something, especially something bad:

trigger for sth Inflation has been the trigger for nearly all post-war recessions.

triggerverb [ T ]

uk /ˈtrɪɡər/ us

to cause something to happen, especially something bad:

Central banks must raise interest rates without triggering a financial crisis for households with excessive debts.
be triggered by sth The sell-off was triggered by a profits warning.

to make a piece of equipment, etc. start working:

Any attempt to jack the car off the ground triggers the alarm automatically.

(Definition of “trigger” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.

trigger

In my view, they should trigger huge demand, above all in rail transport, where - as is well known - the obstacles are numerous.
Agreement on the financial perspective would restore certainty in our political action and confidence in the integration process, whereas failure would trigger a serious political crisis.
At the same time, we must accept that this report will trigger serious parliamentary debate on the reform of the own-resources system.
I should like to know that whenever human rights are violated this will trigger the suspension of a cooperation agreement or any normal agreement.
I want to make it clear that – as has always been the case – a deficit in excess of the reference value, namely 3%, does not automatically trigger infringement proceedings.
None of us think much of the principle of indiscriminate, all-round distribution, and the pilot projects need to act, as it were, like avalanches and trigger other similar projects.
In order to do this, innovative people and businesses must be motivated and supported by framework conditions which will trigger a business-creation offensive.
About ten years ago, the mountains of foam on our rivers were the trigger for amending the legislation on phosphates in water.
However, any rating decisions that trigger a flow of billions of euros should not come as a surprise to the market.
We all know that a massive increase in energy prices would trigger high inflation and could considerably slow economic growth or even result in recession.