break loose


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Related to break loose: call for, roughshod, veered

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

break loose

To physically separate from something. This phrase can be applied to both people and things. The robber had tied me to a chair, but I was able to break loose and flee the house. I had to chase my dog down the street after he broke loose during our walk.
See also: break, loose

break loose

(from someone) Go to break away (from someone).
See also: break, loose

break loose

Escape from restraint, as in The boat broke loose from its moorings, or He finally broke loose from the school of abstract expressionism. This expression also appears in all hell breaks loose, which indicates a state of fury or chaos, as in When Dad finds out you broke his watch, all hell will break loose, or When the children saw the dead pigeon in the hall, all hell broke loose. [Early 1400s]
See also: break, loose

all hell breaks loose

or

all hell breaks out

INFORMAL
COMMON If all hell breaks loose or all hell breaks out, a situation becomes uncontrolled and noisy, often with a lot of arguing or fighting. Suddenly, all hell broke loose upstairs. It sounded as if someone was battering at the door with a tree trunk. Toby came home and all hell broke loose. I had no idea that a baby could scream so much. Note: This expression first appeared in John Milton's `Paradise Lost' (1667), book 4, line 917, when the Archangel Gabriel addresses Satan: `Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?' (ie why did all hell not break loose and come with you?). Here, `broke' means `broken', but the meaning of this expression has since changed.
See also: all, break, hell, loose
References in periodicals archive ?
All hell did not break loose over Elian in reverse - neither on the editorial pages of The New York Times nor among the send-Elian-back mob.
In ``Dirty Pictures,'' you'll likely keep waiting for Woods to break loose even once the credits have rolled.
But for the few whose clots break loose and travel to the lungs, the outcome can be deadly.
The 2000 campaign also focuses on mitigating non-structural hazards such as securing tall furniture, water heaters, appliances, mirrors, office equipment and other items that could break loose and cause injury.
I think if they don't do something quickly, all hell is going to break loose.
Additionally, the 2000 campaign focuses on mitigating non-structural hazards such as securing tall furniture, water heaters, appliances, mirrors, office equipment, and other articles that could break loose and cause injury.
It reportedly will cost Sanders millions of dollars to break loose from the Lions, who have him contractually in their clutches through 2002.
The Clippers broke the seal on their seventh game Saturday, hoping all heck might break loose.