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trigger (verb) make something, especially a series of incidents happen suddenly.
The failure of traffic signals may trigger a series of accidents. That is, if the traffic signals fail, it makes a number of accidents take place one after another. A personís remarks trigger a wave of protests, if they make a number of people protest.
- The governmentís decision to raise tax rates triggered off a series of demonstrations against the measure. As soon as the tax rise was announced, there were a number of demonstrations against it.
- Some kinds of food allergies can trigger off certain types of mental illnesses. Allergies, though physical, can cause a sudden mental illness.