from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Informal Inadequately or poorly prepared: a halfcocked plan to buy out the company.
  • adj. Being at the position of half cock. Used of a firearm.
  • adv. Informal In an inadequate or poorly prepared manner: went off halfcocked and bought all the wrong items.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Individuals who may be susceptible to motivational ideas and theater, can go away "halfcocked" ... the a little knowledge is a dangerous thing syndrome.

    BNET Articles

  • So it really does have consequences when Congress goes off halfcocked and does these things.

    CNN Transcript Mar 28, 2009

  • He isn't some comedian or halfcocked clown who has the luxury of alienating a sizeable portion of the US.

    Latest Articles


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.