- in disorder: The town is haywire because of the bus strike.
- out of control; disordered; crazy: The car went haywire. He's been haywire since he got the bad news.
Origin of haywire
Related Words for haywirescrewball, nuts, psycho, berserk, amiss, batty, bonkers, chaotic, confused, cracked, crazed, defective, disordered, disorganized, erratic, insane, mad, messy, screwy, touched
Examples from the Web for haywire
Contemporary Examples of haywire
The debate about entitlements has been haywire in Washington for years.Mr. Reasonable's Last Stand
April 11, 2013
His latest film, Haywire, features a world-famous martial-arts fighter (29-year-old Gina Carano) as a spy on the run.Flick Picks: Does ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’ Exploit 9/11?
Ramin Setoodeh, Peter Travers
January 20, 2012
Historical Examples of haywire
"Our haywire battery connections are gone," shouted McCready.The Solar Magnet
Sterner St. Paul Meek
It seems their equipment has been haywire for two days, they haven't been able to get through.Moon Glow
G. L. Vandenburg
However, they might just as well have tried to pick off a haywire comet rushing down at them.Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal
Robert Sydney Bowen
Haywire instruments jerked the machine back down and then side to side, then into a tree trunk, blindly.The Happy Man
Gerald Wilburn Page
"Right on course, unless those instruments are haywire, which of course they're not," he murmured.Dave Dawson at Casablanca
Robert Sydney Bowen
- (of things) not functioning properly; disorganized (esp in the phrase go haywire)
- (of people) erratic or crazy
Word Origin for haywire
"soft wire for binding bales of hay," by 1891, from hay + wire (n.). Adjective meaning "poorly equipped, makeshift" is 1905, American English, from the sense of something only held together with haywire, particularly said to be from use of the stuff in New England lumber camps for jury-rigging and makeshift purposes, so that hay wire outfit became the "contemptuous term for loggers with poor logging equipment" [Bryant, "Logging," 1913]. Its springy, uncontrollable quality led to the sense in go haywire (by 1915).
see go haywire.