Definition of unhinge in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Make (someone) mentally unbalanced.

    ‘the loneliness had nearly unhinged him’
    • ‘The experience seems to have unhinged him, since he bursts into the Hydrogen Cave ranting about a mysterious Referee X who is frustrating his attempts at publication.’
    • ‘The shock unhinges their mother, whose hormones have already been scrambled by post-natal depression.’
    • ‘Perhaps the blame for our fascination with the violent acts of unhinged minds should be laid to rest at the creaking door of the Bates motel.’
    • ‘The artistically talented but intellectually unhinged cartoonist Tommy Tomorrow affirms the judgment: ‘This is brilliant.’’
    • ‘Glenn Close is an actress with five Academy Award nominations under her belt, one of which is for the role for which I will always remember her: the mentally unhinged mistress in Fatal Attraction.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a mentally unhinged former lover is stalking her, and the serial killer has struck again.’
    • ‘My mother was unhinged about potential optic damage.’
    • ‘Inexplicable things happen to irrational people; unhinged persons zigzag across an unmoored world.’
    • ‘Born of the Great Depression, the brothers were unhinged maniacs with no roots, no ties, no responsibilities, fighting back on behalf of the disenfranchised little man.’
    • ‘Completely unhinged by madness, she raised he hand and threw the dagger at Kathryn.’
    • ‘There does not seem to be a motive or a reason why, other than like I say, that this person was totally unhinged.’
    • ‘The thing is, you have to read the whole platform to see how dangerously unhinged these people really are.’
    • ‘But if, at times, she does appear to be over-the-top, I don't think it's because she's unhinged.’
    • ‘Needless to say, the whole event with Debbie left me unhinged for a while.’
    • ‘Oh, I don't know - I tell people (a few select people) about my dreams, mainly trustworthy friends who won't then look at me as if I'm unhinged.’
    • ‘I could be over-reacting about this, but if I'm being completely honest with you, the possibilities of what could've happened today have unhinged me a little.’
    • ‘Eventually, being Orwell's widow unhinged her.’
    • ‘Radically unfit to raise her daughter, or even cross the street, Yuen comes unhinged and retreats into a fantasy world.’
    • ‘Charles could look to the future with a reasonable optimism that he would secure a modest triumph over his occasionally unhinged enemies.’
    • ‘Is X going to think I am completely unhinged now?’
    deranged, demented, unbalanced, out of one's mind, crazed, mad, insane
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    1. 1.1 Deprive of stability or fixity; throw into disorder.
      • ‘But hinging and unhinging the wrists during the putting stroke makes it difficult to control distance.’
      • ‘So focus on this one key move: Hinge the wrists before your hands reach shoulder height on the backswing, unhinge the wrists on the downswing and then hinge them again before your hands reach shoulder height on the follow-through.’
      • ‘Publicity has the added power of buoying up participants, bringing in more volunteers, nudging bureaucrats, unhinging politicians, and adding momentum to a grassroots initiative.’
      • ‘Placing both hands under the clasp, he used his remaining energy to unhinge it and throw the top of the box up.’
      • ‘First, try throwing the clubhead down at the ball by unhinging the wrists.’
      • ‘Through impact, the right wrist unhinges as though you were throwing a ball.’
      • ‘The one event that could unhinge the party's best efforts to retain financial and political control is a run on the RMB.’
      • ‘Our grab for dominating the world's strategic petroleum reserves is now unhinging world stability, and I think other countries recognize this and are getting fearful and angry as well.’
      • ‘At 30, he has the experience and sureness of touch to unhinge any team.’
      • ‘Instead of throwing the club from the top by unhinging your wrists immediately, you want to add lag by sharpening the angle created by the clubshaft and forearms.’
      disordered, diseased, deranged, disturbed, troubled, demented, unstable, unbalanced, unhinged, insane, crazed, distracted
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  • 2Take (a door) off its hinges.

    • ‘It was always a stunning room, a gleaming subterranean box of pale lacquer and smoked mirrors with a set of Lalique doors you'd unhinge and run off with in the middle of the night if you thought you could get away with it.’
    • ‘It was a two-story building with rotting blue painted shutters and a door that was only moments away from unhinging itself.’
    • ‘By pulling it, he'd not only cracked the plank in half, he'd unhinged the door itself.’
    • ‘At least their examples complicate the theory that Motherwell's disobedience stems entirely from Butcher, the former Rangers defender renowned for unhinging dressing-room doors.’
    • ‘He shoots the door knob clean off the door and he kicks the door forward with all his strength, which nearly unhinges the door.’