go ballistic


of or pertaining to ballistics.
having its motion determined or describable by the laws of exterior ballistics.
go ballistic, Informal. to become overwrought or irrational: went ballistic over the idea of a tax hike.

1765–75; ballist(a) + -ic

ballistically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To go ballistic
World English Dictionary
ballistic (bəˈlɪstɪk)
1.  of or relating to ballistics
2.  denoting or relating to the flight of projectiles after power has been cut off, moving under their own momentum and the external forces of gravity and air resistance
3.  (of a measurement or measuring instrument) depending on a brief impulse or current that causes a movement related to the quantity to be measured: a ballistic pendulum
4.  informal go ballistic to become enraged or frenziedly violent
5.  (of materials) strong enough to resist damage by projectile weapons: ballistic nylon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1775, ult. from Gk. ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Of rockets or missiles, from 1949. Ballistic missile first attested 1954, attained extreme heights, hence figurative expression go ballistic (1981) "become irrationally angry."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

go ballistic

Become extremely upset or angry, as in Dad will go ballistic when he sees you dented the new car. This expression, a variation on go berserk, originally alluded to a guided missile going out of control. [Slang; mid-1980s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature