go off the rails

idiom

Definition of go off the rails

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.

Learn More about go off the rails

Statistics for go off the rails

Cite this Entry

“Go off the rails.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/go%20off%20the%20rails. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on go off the rails

What made you want to look up go off the rails? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!