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haywire

[hey-wahyuh r] /ˈheɪˌwaɪər/
noun
1.
wire used to bind bales of hay.
adjective, Informal.
2.
in disorder:
The town is haywire because of the bus strike.
3.
out of control; disordered; crazy:
The car went haywire. He's been haywire since he got the bad news.
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05; hay + wire
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hay-wire

haywire

/ˈheɪˌwaɪə/
adjective (postpositive) (informal)
1.
(of things) not functioning properly; disorganized (esp in the phrase go haywire)
2.
(of people) erratic or crazy
Word Origin
C20: alluding to the disorderly tangle of wire removed from bales of hay
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hay-wire
haywire
"poorly equipped, makeshift," 1905, Amer.Eng., lit. "soft wire for binding bales of hay," from hay + wire. The extended sense being of something only held together with this, particularly said to be from use in New England lumber camps for jerry-rigging and makeshift purposes, so that haywire outfit became the term for a logging camp chronically ill-equipped and short on suplies. Its springy, uncontrollable quality led to the sense in go haywire (1929).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hay-wire

haywire

adjective
  1. Functioning erratically; out of order; on the blink: This meter's haywire
  2. Makeshift; precariously operative: What sort of haywire gadget are you using for a pump?
  3. Crazy; confused; cockeyed: He never looked inside an almanac, and was sure that anyone who did was haywire (1905+ Loggers)
Related Terms

go haywire


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with hay-wire
see: go haywire
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for haywire

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hay

9
7
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Quotes with hay-wire