Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
like a headless chicken
With great haste and in a careless and/or senseless manner. Instead of running around like a headless chicken, make a list of the things you need to finish and then work on them in that order.
be running around like a headless chickenBRITISH or
be running around like a chicken with its head cut offmainly AMERICAN
COMMON If you are running around like a headless chicken, you are behaving or moving in an uncontrolled or disorganized way, and not thinking calmly or logically. Instead of running round like a headless chicken, try to use your efforts in a more productive way. They were all running around like chickens with their heads cut off — they didn't know where to go, where to sit, or who to talk to. Note: You can also describe people as being like headless chickens. After the other team scored, we started playing like headless chickens. Note: Chickens have been known to run around for a short time after they have had their heads cut off.
running (or rushing) about like a headless chickenacting in a panic-stricken manner and not thinking clearly about what should be done.
A decapitated chicken may continue to flap about for a few moments before finally expiring.
run around like a ˌheadless ˈchickenbe very busy and active trying to do something, but not very organized, with the result that you do not succeed: What a day! I’ve been running around like a headless chicken all day!
After a chicken’s head is cut off its body may continue to move for a few moments.