Definition of Trigger-happy

1. Adjective. Irresponsible in the use of firearms.

Similar to: Irresponsible

2. Adjective. Marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid. "Violent passions"
Exact synonyms: Fierce, Tearing, Vehement, Violent
Similar to: Intense
Derivative terms: Fierceness

Definition of Trigger-happy

1. Adjective. (idiomatic) Having a tendency or desire to shoot a firearm irresponsibly before adequately identifying the target. ¹

2. Adjective. (idiomatic) Inclined to behave recklessly, especially with machinery. ¹

3. Adjective. (idiomatic) Inclined to react excessively or violently at the slightest provocation. ¹

¹ Source:

Lexicographical Neighbors of Trigger-happy

trigeminofacial reflex
trigeminothalamic tract
trigenic acid
trigger-happy (current term)
trigger area
trigger finger
trigger guard
trigger happy
trigger man
trigger off
trigger point
trigger protein
trigger warning
trigger zone
triggered activity

Literary usage of Trigger-happy

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Center of the Storm: A Case Study of Human Rights Abuses in Hebron District by Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch (Organization) (2001)
"Indeed, the high frequency of unlawful shooting incidents has led some IDF commanders to express concern that some IDF soldiers are becoming "trigger-happy. ..."

2. Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways by Jamie Jensen (2006)
"... or was then-US Senator Long the victim of his five trigger-happy bodyguards' "friendly fire," aimed at a man who merely punched the boss? ..."

3. The Network Revolution: Confessions of a Computer Scientist by Jacques Vallee (1982)
"The central police records still regarded it as stolen property. The trigger-happy policeman was not arrested. ..."

4. Police Violence in Argentina: Torture and Police Killings in Buenos Aires by Bell Gale Chevigny, Paul Chevigny, Americas Watch Committee (U.S.) (1991)
"I don't know whether the police are taught to be trigger-happy, but in the face of crime, no doubt what comes most easily is arrogance. ..."

5. Howard's Hill and Other True Stories: Small Unit Marine Action in Vietnam by DIANE Publishing Company (1990)
"... don't get trigger-happy," the gunny said, "it's probably only villagers. Just be careful. Is that clear?" The people in the cave refused to come out. ..."

6. Federal Immigration Law Enforcement in the Southwest: Civil Rights Impacts by John F. Dulles (1998)
"... he became aware that law enforcement officers with whom he worked considered border patrol agents to be "ill-trained, undisciplined, and trigger happy. ..."

7. The Storm Clouds Clear Over China: The Memoir of Ch'en Li-fu, 1900-1993 by Li-Fu Ch'en, Hsu-hsin Chang, Ramon Hawley Myers (1994)
""We do not believe that Chiang, as some reports indicate, has lost control over reactionary political elements surrounding him or over trigger-happy ..."

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