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To become wildly or uncontrollably angry. My parents went totally ballistic when they found out I'd wrecked the car! Now, don't go ballistic or anything, but I've decided to move to Canada.
go ballisticand go postal
Fig. to become irrationally enraged. (Ballistic refers to a missile launching; postal refers to an enraged post office employee attacking those at his place of work. See also go into orbit.) The boss went ballistic when he saw my expense report. She was so mad, I thought she was going to go postal.
Become extremely upset or angry, as in Dad will go ballistic when he sees you dented the new car. This expression, a variation on go berserk, originally alluded to a guided missile going out of control. [Slang; mid-1980s]
If someone goes ballistic, they get extremely angry. They claim the singer went ballistic after a member of his band failed to show up for a sound check. She'll go ballistic when she finds out. Note: This expression uses the image of a ballistic missile, and the powerful explosion which it causes. Compare with go nuclear.
go ballisticfly into a rage. informal
1998 New Scientist The French nuclear industry, local authorities around La Hague and some government agencies went ballistic. Viel was fiercely condemned for his findings.
go balˈlistic(informal) become very angry: He went ballistic when I told him about the accident.A ballistic missile is a weapon that is sent through the air and that explodes when it hits the thing that it is aimed at. When it goes ballistic it starts to fall towards its target and so becomes very dangerous.
To become very angry or irrational.
go ballistic, to
To become irrationally angry and out of control. This slangy expression originally referred to a guided missile that went out of control. It began to be used to describe human anger in the 1980s and quickly caught on. The New Republic used it on November 6, 1989: “He would go ballistic over the idea of reopening the capital gains tax break for real estate.” It is well on its way to being a cliché.
See also: go