Definition of doolally in English:



  • 1Temporarily deranged or feeble-minded.

    ‘Uncle's gone doolally again’
    • ‘Will anyone who isn't doolally about dance go and see this picture?’
    • ‘But the stiff-necked jerk never called, and cricket has gone doolally as a result.’
    • ‘But then, throughout his career he has mixed the personal with the abstract, the highbrow and the downright doolally.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this meant that Spartan generals were famous for going doolally whenever they travelled outside Sparta and were confronted by big piles of gold, usually in the hands of people without the best interests of Sparta at heart…’
    • ‘It seems that scientists who claimed, a year ago, that one dose can send you permanently doolally were not in possession of the full facts.’
    • ‘But I see I've come a ways from Bombay and renaming, though you could make a case that those who go gaga over renaming are going doolally.’
    • ‘I went doolally at them, but they responded brilliantly.’
    • ‘When, in addition, there is a divorce to take account of, even the cleverest can go doolally.’
    • ‘But I'm not somebody who goes doolally over somebody's weakness.’
    • ‘My neighbours think that I'm slightly doolally for fasting.’
    • ‘Well, nothing will more convince you that the whole of western civilisation is utterly, howlingly, stark-staringly, foamingly doolally than the collection will.’
    • ‘As the nation goes doolally about the Olympics, shouldn't it be asked: what happens next?’
    • ‘As far as I know it's got a decent picture and hasn't gone doolally yet.’
    • ‘It's possible for me to think that if I were to cut myself off from my girlfriend, my family, my friends, and choose to make decisions completely on my own then I'd probably go a bit doolally as well.’
    • ‘Oh no, he's gone completely doolally now.’
    • ‘You can't control what other people are feeling either, and in the run-up to competitions they can go pretty doolally.’
    • ‘I may be totally doolally about this, but that is how it struck me and my companion.’
    • ‘My temperature was very high and I was completely doolally - not with it at all.’
    • ‘Whether he was doolally before or after he dropped out of public gaze is neither here nor there.’
    • ‘Unless, of course, the units go doolally and run rampant in the building!’
    mad, insane, deranged, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, crazed, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, as mad as a hatter, as mad as a march hare, stark mad
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    1. 1.1 Transported with excitement or pleasure.
      ‘a return on capital that the City would go doolally over’


Early 20th century: originally doolally tap, Indian army slang, from Deolali (the name of a town with a military sanatorium and a transit camp) + Urdu tap ‘fever’.