jump the track(s)(redirected from jump the tracks)
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jump the track(s)
1. Literally, of a train, to derail from the track. Due to a technical issue, the train wasn't able to slow down ahead of the turn and ended up jumping the track because of its speed.
2. By extension, to veer off in very unexpected directions; to lose or change focus in surprising or bizarre ways. The long-running drama has by this point jumped the track so completely that it would be foolish to try and summarize it for the uninitiated. The manager's speech really jumped the tracks about halfway through, shifting into a weird commentary on the nature of corporate America.
See also: jump
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
jump the track
1. Lit. [for something] to fall or jump off the rails or guides. (Usually said about a train.) The train jumped the track, causing many injuries to the passengers. The engine jumped the track, but the other cars stayed on.
2. . Fig. to change suddenly from one thing, thought, plan, or activity to another. The entire project jumped the track, and we finally had to give up. John's mind jumped the track while he was in the play, and he forgot his lines.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
jump the track
Suddenly switch from one thought or activity to another. For example, Joe was describing his trip to Australia and, jumping the track, began complaining about the airline , or They couldn't decide on the next step and now the whole reorganization plan has jumped the track . This expression alludes to a train going off the rails. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.