have a hair trigger

Definition

To have a hair trigger means to be quick to respond or act, often in an aggressive manner.

Examples

He has a hair trigger temper, so it’s best to steer clear of him when he’s angry.

She has a hair trigger response when it comes to any criticism of her work.

He’s always on the defense, ready to have a hair trigger reaction if anyone questions him.

Origin

The origin of this phrase is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the late 19th century.

FAQs

Q

What does it mean to have a hair trigger?

A

To have a hair trigger means to be quick to respond or act, often in an aggressive manner.