having no hinge or hinges, or with the hinges removed: an unhinged gate.
unsettled, disordered, or distraught: He became unhinged when his friend died.

Origin of unhinged

1710–20; (def 1) un-1 + hinged; (def 2) unhinge + -ed2



verb (used with object), un·hinged, un·hing·ing.

to remove (a door or the like) from hinges.
to open wide by or as if by removing supporting hinges: to unhinge one's jaws.
to upset; unbalance; disorient; throw into confusion or turmoil: to unhinge the mind.
to dislocate or disrupt the normal operation of; unsettle: to unhinge plans.
to detach or separate from something.
to cause to waver or vacillate: to unhinge supporters of conservative policies.

Origin of unhinge

First recorded in 1605–15; un-2 + hinge
Related formsun·hinge·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unhinged

Contemporary Examples of unhinged

Historical Examples of unhinged

  • He unhinged the top half of his face to give me a private view.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • The whole order of things is unhinged, and we are nearing chaos.

  • Sara's mouth had been gradually closing, but it unhinged again.

    Sense from Thought Divide

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • Society is unhinged, and every one is afraid to offer an opinion.

    Olla Podrida

    Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

  • He examined the lock of the unhinged door, which had subsided on the floor.

    Messengers of Evil

    Pierre Souvestre

British Dictionary definitions for unhinged


verb (tr)

to remove (a door, gate, etc) from its hinges
to derange or unbalance (a person, his mind, etc)
to disrupt or unsettle (a process or state of affairs)
(usually foll by from) to detach or dislodge
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

Word Origin and History for unhinged

"thrown into confusion," 1719, past participle adjective from unhinge.



recorded earlier in the mental sense of "to disorder" the mind, etc. (1612) than in the literal one of "to take (a door, etc.) off its hinges" (1616); from un- (2) + hinge (v.). Related: Unhinged; unhinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper