go off half-cocked


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go off at half-cock

1. To act hastily or impulsively. I'll admit that I went off at half-cock when I sent that angry email before finding out what really happened.
2. To fail. If the caterer quits, this party is definitely going to go off at half-cock.
See also: off

go off half-cocked

Fig. to go into action too early or without thinking. (Originally refers to a flintlock or matchlock gun firing prematurely, before the trigger was pulled.) Don't go off half-cocked. Plan out what you're going to do. Bill went off half-cocked and told everybody he was running for the state legislature.
See also: off

go off at half-cock

BRITISH or

go off half-cocked

mainly AMERICAN
1. If someone goes off at half-cock, they suddenly start doing something without preparing for it or thinking about it enough. She was a disaster in meetings, never preparing and often going off at half-cock. Remember, don't go off half-cocked when we get there. Stick to the plan.
2. If an event or action goes off at half-cock, it is unsuccessful. The organisation had emerged well from an event that many had expected to go off at half-cock. Note: Half-cocked and half-cock can also be used before a noun to describe something that is done badly and not thoroughly enough. Finally there is the matter of the half-cock privatisation of London Underground. In-store guest appearances are usually embarrassing, half-cocked events. Note: If a gun goes off at half-cock, it does not fire properly and so the shot is wasted. This is because the firing mechanism has not been raised high enough to connect with the trigger.
See also: off

go off at ˌhalf-ˈcock

(informal) start without enough preparation, so that the effect or result is not satisfactory: Let’s not go off at half-cock. We must get enough people together before we start the meeting.This refers to an old type of gun. It it was at half-cock, the firing lever (= cock) was not pulled all the way back so that the gun was not completely ready to fire.
See also: off

go off half-cocked

in. to proceed without knowing all the facts. The boss went off half-cocked and exploded into a rage about the mess.
See also: off
References in periodicals archive ?
We can't go off half-cocked thinking we're better than everyone else,'' he said.
Make sure that you have all the facts, whatever the issue is, and don't just jump the gun or go off half-cocked without getting the facts.
So we don't go off half-cocked, we still look at the business models, but we do believe, with the likely growth rates of some of these companies going forward, that if the market cap continues to grow along with the growth rates of their revenues, they will become dominant companies and we'll move them out of the emerging growth sector over time.
But that's what happens when you go off half-cocked, when half-baked ideas are presented as fact.
The School Department could propose building a new high school or addition to solve the problems, but no town in the state would vote to go off half-cocked and spend millions to solve a crisis without a lot of discussion and a major plan.