out of hand
get out of hand
- out of control
- no longer in control of something or someone
- difficult to control a situation
- be chaotic or unmanageable
- be in an unruly state
- When the police arrived, they realised the party was getting out of hand.
- Jane and Sarah had a disagreement that suddenly got out of hand and then everyone was shouting.
- Their kids need some discipline, they are getting completely out of hand.
- Two of the children started fighting in the playground yesterday. It wasn’t long before it all got out of hand.
- The farmer was trying to get all the sheep into the barn when it all got out of hand and they ended up in the road.
- I thought it would be a good idea to bake some buns with my small nephews, but it got out of hand and took me 2 hours to clean up the mess.
- We’re going to look at that and, if there’s something that was out of hand, then we’ll deal with it.
- Soon, the situation went out of hand.
- The authorities concede that the viral outbreak “has gone out of hand.”
- How do I not let this get out of hand, and what is out of hand anymore?
This phrase originates from losing control of a horse when riding or a team of horses pulling a wagon. If the rider lets go of the reins or does not keep a firm grip, then they cannot control the horses. Hence, the horses will be ‘out of hand’.