go into a tailspin

go into a tailspin

1. Literally, to spiral to the ground, as of an airplane. The plane briefly went into a tailspin before the pilot was able to correct it.
2. By extension, to become emotionally unstable. Robin has wanted to go to that college for so long that I'm worried she'll go into a tailspin if she doesn't get in.
See also: go

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.
See also: go

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]
See also: go
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: It shows the copter rising into the sky before appearing to go into a tailspin and rapidly losing altitude
'But I think the players have to be aware that it doesn't take much to go into a tailspin. They have been slightly subdued, as you can imagine, but it's over now.
Historically, Federal Reserve Chairmen have always been careful not to comment upon the stock market, since any speculation on their behalf might send mixed messages down to the street and cause the market to go into a tailspin.