To be off the hinges

To be off the hinges
Hinge Hinge, n. [OE. henge, heeng; akin to D. heng, LG. henge, Prov. E. hingle a small hinge; connected with hang, v., and Icel. hengja to hang. See {Hang}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The hook with its eye, or the joint, on which a door, gate, lid, etc., turns or swings; a flexible piece, as a strip of leather, which serves as a joint to turn on. [1913 Webster]

The gate self-opened wide, On golden hinges turning. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. That on which anything turns or depends; a governing principle; a cardinal point or rule; as, this argument was the hinge on which the question turned. [1913 Webster]

3. One of the four cardinal points, east, west, north, or south. [R.] [1913 Webster]

When the moon is in the hinge at East. --Creech. [1913 Webster]

Nor slept the winds . . . but rushed abroad. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{Hinge joint}. (a) (Anat.) See {Ginglymus}. (b) (Mech.) Any joint resembling a hinge, by which two pieces are connected so as to permit relative turning in one plane.

{To be off the hinges}, to be in a state of disorder or irregularity; to have lost proper adjustment. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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