When every aspect of your plan falls apart, this is an example of when things have gone haywire.
Machinery that went haywire; an experiment that went haywire.
The traveler went haywire over the endless delays.
- to behave or perform erratically
- to become crazy
Other Word Forms
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Origin of haywire
- From the use of baling wire for makeshift repairs
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- hay + wire To go haywire possibly originally referred to the tendency of wire spooled under tension and used in the baling of hay to spring into an unmanageable tangle once a piece had been removed from the factory spool, e.g., "he took off the back of his watch, removed a gear and the whole works went haywire." Or a tendency of slap-dash repairs done with scraps of baling wire to fail catastrophically at times of mechanical stress. Perhaps the meaning of haywire – all in disarray or disrepair – stems from this expression.