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(Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) (of a firearm) at half-cock
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
(of a firearm) held in the position of half cock.Idioms:
go off half-cocked, to act or speak impulsively or thoughtlessly.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
half-cocked- Comes from hunting; a gun at half cock is in the safety position—so it came to mean "incompletely prepared."
See also related terms for hunting.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.