General English


  • verb to cause an electrical device to suddenly stop working


  • A device that releases a mechanism, such as a pawl. See also release catch.



  • verb to stumble or fall as a result of catching your legs in something


  • noun a state of mind, state of affairs or personal experience. The original 1960s counterculture sense of an LSD experience was soon broadened to encompass these meanings. The word was used in a variety of sub-senses, in expressions such as ‘a guilt trip’ (a bout of remorse), ‘lay a trip on someone’ (subject someone to one’s own preoccupation, obsession or problem), ‘a heavy trip’ (a devastating or oppressive experience) or ‘on one’s own trip’ (preoccupied with oneself or introverted).

Origin & History of “trip”

The original meaning of trip was ‘move lightly or nimbly’. ‘Stumble’ is a secondary development, and the use of the derived noun for ‘short journey’ did not emerge until the late 17th century (it was apparently originally a nautical usage). The word was borrowed from Old French tripper, which in turn was acquired from middle Dutch trippen ‘hop, skip’.