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How to pronounce haywire (audio)

Dictionary definition of haywire

In a state of extreme disorder, chaos, or malfunction, often implying that it has gone completely awry or out of control.
"My computer went haywire and deleted all of my important files."

Detailed meaning of haywire

When a situation, process, or device is described as "haywire," it suggests that it is operating erratically or unpredictably, with little regard for normal or expected functioning. This term is commonly used to describe malfunctioning machinery, chaotic events, or disorganized situations where things are not going as planned. For example, if a computer system crashes and starts behaving erratically, it can be said to have gone haywire. "Haywire" conveys a sense of unpredictability and disarray, highlighting the breakdown of order and the need for corrective action or repair.

Example sentences containing haywire

1. The electrical circuit went haywire, causing a sudden blackout in the neighborhood.
2. His plan for the party went completely haywire when it started raining.
3. The computer's operating system went haywire, leading to data loss.
4. The car's engine malfunctioned, sending the dashboard lights haywire.
5. The stock market went haywire, resulting in massive losses for investors.
6. The weather forecast went haywire as a surprise snowstorm hit in spring.

History and etymology of haywire

The adjective 'haywire' likely originated in American slang during the early 20th century. It is believed to be rooted in the imagery of bales of hay and wire used in various machinery and systems. 'Haywire' describes a state of extreme disorder, chaos, or malfunction, often implying that something has gone completely awry or out of control. The etymology of 'haywire' effectively conveys the sense of tangled, jumbled wires that no longer function properly, much like a system or situation that has descended into chaos. Whether used to describe a plan gone haywire, a machine gone haywire, or a situation gone haywire, this term underscores the concept of something going terribly wrong or becoming unmanageable.

Quiz: Find the meaning of haywire

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Further usage examples of haywire

1. The carefully choreographed dance routine went haywire due to a misstep.
2. Her emotions went haywire after receiving the unexpected news.
3. The project's timeline went haywire because of unforeseen delays.
4. The remote control's batteries were dead, making it go haywire.
5. The party's guest list went haywire when uninvited guests showed up.
6. The assembly line went haywire, causing production to grind to a halt.
7. The GPS navigation system went haywire, leading them in the wrong direction.
8. The unexpected power surge sent the appliances haywire.
9. His attempt at DIY plumbing repairs went haywire, causing a flood.
10. The toddler's tantrum threw the family's morning routine haywire.
11. The alarm system went haywire, causing false alerts throughout the night.
12. The once-organized files went haywire after the office move.
13. The telephone lines went haywire during the thunderstorm, disrupting calls.
14. The drone's controls went haywire, crashing it into a tree.
15. The road trip plans went haywire when the car broke down.
16. The carefully laid out picnic was disrupted when ants went haywire.
17. The test results went haywire due to a lab equipment malfunction.
18. The party decorations went haywire when a gust of wind blew them away.
19. The unexpected guest's arrival sent dinner plans haywire.



chaotic, functional, orderly, well-managed


ACT 9 (American College Testing), Chaos and Disorder, Chaos and Confusion

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