go off at half-cock

(redirected from goes off at half-cock)

go off at half-cock

1. To act hastily or impulsively. I'll admit that I went off at half-cock when I sent that angry email before finding out what really happened.
2. To fail. If the caterer quits, this party is definitely going to go off at half-cock.
See also: off

go off half-cocked

Fig. to go into action too early or without thinking. (Originally refers to a flintlock or matchlock gun firing prematurely, before the trigger was pulled.) Don't go off half-cocked. Plan out what you're going to do. Bill went off half-cocked and told everybody he was running for the state legislature.
See also: off

go off at half-cock

BRITISH or

go off half-cocked

mainly AMERICAN
1. If someone goes off at half-cock, they suddenly start doing something without preparing for it or thinking about it enough. She was a disaster in meetings, never preparing and often going off at half-cock. Remember, don't go off half-cocked when we get there. Stick to the plan.
2. If an event or action goes off at half-cock, it is unsuccessful. The organisation had emerged well from an event that many had expected to go off at half-cock. Note: Half-cocked and half-cock can also be used before a noun to describe something that is done badly and not thoroughly enough. Finally there is the matter of the half-cock privatisation of London Underground. In-store guest appearances are usually embarrassing, half-cocked events. Note: If a gun goes off at half-cock, it does not fire properly and so the shot is wasted. This is because the firing mechanism has not been raised high enough to connect with the trigger.
See also: off

go off at ˌhalf-ˈcock

(informal) start without enough preparation, so that the effect or result is not satisfactory: Let’s not go off at half-cock. We must get enough people together before we start the meeting.This refers to an old type of gun. It it was at half-cock, the firing lever (= cock) was not pulled all the way back so that the gun was not completely ready to fire.
See also: off

go off half-cocked

in. to proceed without knowing all the facts. The boss went off half-cocked and exploded into a rage about the mess.
See also: off