go haywire

Cultural Dictionary

go haywire definition


To break down or cease to function properly: “Everything was going smoothly until the computer started to go haywire.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

go haywire

Become wildly confused, out of control, or crazy. For example, The plans for the party have gone haywire, or His enemies accused the mayor of going haywire. This term alludes to the wire used for bundling hay, which is hard to handle and readily tangled. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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