go into a tailspin

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go into a tailspin

 
1. Lit. [for an airplane] to lose control and spin to the earth, nose first. The plane shook and then suddenly went into a tailspin. The pilot was not able to bring the plane out of the tailspin, and it crashed into the sea.
2. . Fig. [for someone] to become disoriented or panicked; [for someone's life] to fall apart. Although John achieved great success, his life went into a tailspin. It took him a year to get straightened out. After her father died, Mary's world fell apart, and she went into a tailspin.

go into a tailspin

to quickly become worse The country's nickel industry went into a tailspin, with production falling for five years in a row. His career went into a tailspin when he joined the New York Mets.
Usage notes: sometimes used to describe someone's mental condition: I imagine the news sent Barry into a tailspin.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of tailspin (a sudden fall by an aircraft in which the back points up and the aircraft turns around and around)

go into a tailspin

Lose emotional control, collapse, panic. For example, If she fails the bar exam again, she's sure to go into a tailspin. This expression alludes to the downward movement of an airplane out of control, in which the tail describes a spiral. [Early 1900s]
References in periodicals archive ?
And the lack of justice is what usually ends up tearing these gangs apart and sending their plans into a tailspin.
And the arrival of the sprogette from the US threatens to send Dashwood's political dreams and i marriage to a conniving fiancee (Anna Chancellor) into a tailspin.
All sorts of thoughts arise, sending us into a tailspin of doubt and despair.
Household spending on durable goods will show year-on-year losses of 1 to 3 percent, assuming that a default on Bolivias foreign debt does not throw economic activity into a tailspin.
An interesting read, Tailspin will intrigue most Air Force members because it was "one of their own" who committed criminal acts.
Having my son 22 months ago put my career into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.
Tension over Iraq, alongside fears about the global economy and corporate profitability, has sent the Footsie into a tailspin.
Ya got too much goin' on all at once, and your little fins are in a total tailspin.
Now, with the economy in a tailspin, companies are lurching in the opposite direction and insisting that managers demand better performance from their people and, where better performance is not forthcoming, mark the poorest performers for dismissal.
If these reports are true then environmental spending is set to go into a tailspin at a time when we need to see significantly more public investment in protecting and repairing our degraded bush and rivers," ACF Campaigns Director John Connor said.
Another occupational stress that can send dancers into a tailspin is weight.
That tailspin was not disclosed to Crayfish investors until well after the March IPO.
However, the chairman of British Midland Airways, Sir Michael Bishop, has said that aviation fuel is an 'essential commodity' and that taxing it 'would send the growth rate of the world's aviation industry into quite a tailspin.
At the time, assisted living stocks went into a tailspin.
Our responses will determine the difference between a future of freedom and one of chaos - between a boundless soaring and a bottomless tailspin.