fly off the handle


: to lose control of one's emotions : to become very angry
He tends to fly off the handle when people disagree with him.

Examples of fly off the handle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Season 2, Tommy’s family, including his older brother JP (Anthony Flemming III) and his nephew D-Mac (Lucien Cambric), keep him from flying off the handle completely. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 The donors would get someone less liable to fly off the handle and, for that matter, less likely to pursue personal pet policies (trade wars) and vendettas. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2023 In fact, some games, and even particular game systems and franchises, are more likely than others to make people fly off the handle. Eric Griffith, PCMAG, 22 Aug. 2022 This digital monster that has taught the culture how to overreact and fly off the handle needs to be tamed. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 Jen briefly tried to express her appreciation to Heather, only to fly off the handle again about six hours later and scream at everyone in Las Vegas about… being friends with Whitney? Jodi Walker,, 25 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fly off the handle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Fly off the handle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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