Also found in: Dictionary.
1. To become extremely upset or emotional. Primarily heard in US. Poor Jane really came unglued during the funeral service.
2. To encounter setbacks or fail altogether. Primarily heard in US. Boy, this party is really coming unglued. First, there was the issue with the caterer, and now half the guests aren't coming.
Fig. to lose emotional control; to break out into tears or laughter. When Sally heard the joke, she almost came unglued. When the bank took away my car, I came unglued and cried and cried.
Also, come unstuck. See come apart at the seams.
come ungluedAMERICAN, INFORMAL
1. If someone comes unglued, they cannot control their emotions and they behave in a strange or crazy way. She had apparently come unglued since losing her job as a writer for Western Gentry magazine. He had come unglued over a girl who was pregnant with his child. She wouldn't marry him, and he had gone to her house with a sawn-off shotgun and threatened to shoot her.
2. If someone or something comes unglued, they fail. Their marriage finally came unglued. Everything seemed to be coming unglued. Note: The usual British expression is come unstuck.
come unˈglued(American English, informal)
1 become very upset: I don’t know why, but whenever I take my child to the doctor’s she comes unglued.
2 if a plan, etc. comes unglued, it does not work successfully: Personally, I’m not sorry the building plans have come unglued. It means they’ll leave the public park alone.
To lose one's composure.