all hell broke loose

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all hell breaks loose

slang Said of a chaotic or disruptive situation, especially one that begins suddenly or unexpectedly. I'm just walking down the street when all hell breaks loose, and drivers start beeping and screaming at each other for no apparent reason. One guy pushed another at the bar and then all hell broke loose—that's why we left!
See also: all, break, hell, loose

all hell broke loose

all sorts of wild or terrible things happened. When the boss left early for the weekend, all hell broke loose.
See also: all, broke, hell, loose

all hell broke (or was let) loose

suddenly there was chaos or uproar. informal
See also: all, broke, hell, loose
References in periodicals archive ?
But within seconds of the court being convened in a nearby function room, all hell broke loose again.
The last time I was on an award stage in Hollywood, all hell broke loose.
ALL hell broke loose in Albert Square last week - and the repercussions are still flying.
We had almost reached our destination when the convoy came under attack and all hell broke loose.
They were eyeballing each other from the moment Dane walked in - then all hell broke loose.
When I sympathetically advised that he was still dead and had been cremated a long time ago, all hell broke loose.
We lost to Valletta in our Super Cup Final last month and all hell broke loose.
A pal said: "She was getting cramps all day and didn't feel great then all hell broke loose and Orlaith feared the worse.
Apparently, he only became aware when all hell broke loose after the plans were revealed in the press and then had to quickly do a u-turn.