Definition of doolally in US English:



  • Temporarily deranged or feebleminded.

    ‘Uncle Orville's gone doolally again’
    • ‘Will anyone who isn't doolally about dance go and see this picture?’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘Unless, of course, the units go doolally and run rampant in the building!’
    • ‘As the nation goes doolally about the Olympics, shouldn't it be asked: what happens next?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I may be totally doolally about this, but that is how it struck me and my companion.’
    • ‘I went doolally at them, but they responded brilliantly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, nothing will more convince you that the whole of western civilisation is utterly, howlingly, stark-staringly, foamingly doolally than the collection will.’
    • ‘When, in addition, there is a divorce to take account of, even the cleverest can go doolally.’
    • ‘Whether he was doolally before or after he dropped out of public gaze is neither here nor there.’
    • ‘But the stiff-necked jerk never called, and cricket has gone doolally as a result.’
    • ‘Oh no, he's gone completely doolally now.’
    • ‘My temperature was very high and I was completely doolally - not with it at all.’
    • ‘As far as I know it's got a decent picture and hasn't gone doolally yet.’
    • ‘You can't control what other people are feeling either, and in the run-up to competitions they can go pretty doolally.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But then, throughout his career he has mixed the personal with the abstract, the highbrow and the downright doolally.’
    • ‘But I'm not somebody who goes doolally over somebody's weakness.’
    • ‘My neighbours think that I'm slightly doolally for fasting.’
    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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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’.