go amok

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go amok

1. To behave or run around in a wild, unruly, out-of-control manner; to be or become crazy or chaotic. We tried to have some organized games for the kids, but they all started going amok as soon as they got here. The villagers were cleaning up debris for days after the bulls went amok through the streets.
2. To become bad or go awry; to get out of control; to go haywire. This whole operation has gone amok. I don't know how we can be expected to finish by the deadline under these conditions.
3. dated To rush around in a violent, murderous frenzy. (Note: This is the phrase's original specific meaning, taken from Malay. "Amok" also has an older alternative spelling, "amuck.") Fueled by alcohol and cocaine, Dave went amok when his wife told him she'd been seeing someone else. Luckily, a neighbor called the police when they heard such a commotion.
See also: amok
References in periodicals archive ?
We would think about it as yet another example of epidemiology going amok.
Holidaymakers can do nothing about a gunman going amok, or a motorway pile-up in which they are the unfortunate passengers.
With telecommunications going amok, everyone's running wires everywhere, tearing up streets and causing havoc with cities.