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go haywire

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

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with go haywire

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]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.