go off the rails

idiom

informal
: to lose control and start to behave in a way that is not normal or acceptable
He was a promising student but he went off the rails after he started taking drugs.

Examples of go off the rails in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sony Pictures Things go off the rails a bit with Spider-Man 3, which is a bit overstuffed in, well, just about every way. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 2 June 2023 Gaughan had an acute sense that such a major case could, without careful tending, go off the rails at any moment, McMahon said. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 27 Nov. 2022 Making seasonal deals available weeks or months before Black Friday can ease some of the pressure and reduce the likelihood that anything will go off the rails. Gary Drenik, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Ivan Perez, 53, is philosophical about what caused his life to go off the rails. New York Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Once the livestreams roll, though, things can quickly go off the rails, and often do. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 12 Jan. 2021 Any moment can go off the rails and become a Saturday Night Live sketch. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 May 2023 Democrats remember all too well how badly an agenda can go off the rails when Congress breaks for summer recess with big questions looming. Philip Elliott, Time, 16 June 2021 Solos needed more eloquence, there were intonation issues and faster passages sometimes threatened to go off the rails. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 13 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'go off the rails.' 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

“Go off the rails.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/go%20off%20the%20rails. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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