Definition of tripwire in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtripˌwī(ə)r/ /ˈtrɪpˌwaɪ(ə)r/


  • 1A wire stretched close to the ground, working a trap, explosion, or alarm when disturbed and serving to detect or prevent people or animals entering an area.

    ‘he brushed some leaves aside to reveal a small tripwire stretched between two trees’
    • ‘Then attach a tripwire to the dead animal with the other end attached to a loaded shotgun.’
    • ‘She's devising a plan to lay a trap for them with tripwires and a lot of tin foil - apparently they like shiny things - but she doesn't have high hopes.’
    • ‘He was a genius at creating special booby traps and tripwires, all sorts of custom-made devices designed to inflict maximum pain and damage.’
    • ‘There were no guards, no alarms, no more tripwires after those we had evaded.’
    • ‘He crouched down and brushed some leaves aside to reveal a small tripwire stretched between two trees.’
    • ‘The end result is you can trigger an alarm - hitting a tripwire, getting caught on camera, scaring guards - and then sprint to a deactivation panel before it's too late and then go on about your business.’
    • ‘The mine is a ground blast fragmentation mine activated by disturbing one of four tripwires.’
    • ‘The wide area antipersonnel mine was a flanged metal sphere with tripwires spread by springs.’
    • ‘He quickly made his way through the corridors, following that odd mark and keeping an eye out for tripwires, odd stones, and trap doors.’
    • ‘Blast mines are laid on or below the soil surface and explode when trodden on, while fragmentation mines are usually set off by tripwires and spray metal fragments over a wide area.’
    • ‘He fixed up a few more things, and the bottles stood on the ground, tightly strung with a tripwire between them.’
    • ‘Government cutbacks and legal tripwires have conspired to see the town park overgrown and uncared for.’
    • ‘There is a problem, though, when a single event is considered the tripwire that brings God's judgment.’
    • ‘The clash of contemporary ugliness with ancient beauty is a tripwire I often stumble on.’
    • ‘This provides an automatic detection, or tripwire, feature within the system.’
    • ‘The first mines were employed in the American Civil War when Confederate forces linked tripwires to musket trigger mechanisms to fire black powder and shrapnel charges with percussion caps.’
    • ‘Trip flares, attached to low pickets, can be placed around a position or in an ambush site, and may either be fired when an enemy touches a tripwire or initiated by the defender or ambusher.’
    • ‘Later in the game, the mercenaries start deploying Claymore mines, which are triggered by tripwire.’
    • ‘After a couple of steps, I saw a second tripwire.’
    • ‘The antipersonnel mines are activated by tripwires that will explode by the presence of a civilian or combatant.’
    1. 1.1A comparatively weak military force employed as a first line of defense, engagement with which will trigger the intervention of strong forces.
      ‘if these peacekeeping efforts fail, they should have the function of a tripwire’
      as modifier ‘the placing of tripwire forces on disputed borders’
      • ‘Why is the administration proposing to abandon the long-standing tripwire function of U.S. forces in the country?’
      • ‘Moreover, the troop tripwire makes it America's problem.’
      • ‘Replacing the American tripwire would be expensive for the country.’
      • ‘Today the US maintains 37,000 soldiers as a tripwire to ensure involvement should war again break out between the two countries.’
      • ‘The 19 camps between the capital and the border house about 15,000 U.S. tripwire troops.’



/ˈtripˌwī(ə)r/ /ˈtrɪpˌwaɪ(ə)r/