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careen (verb) move quickly forward and suddenly sideways in a dangerous manner.
When a thing moves quickly forward and from side to side suddenly in a dangerous manner, it careens. A person too careens if they move quickly forward, making sudden movements sideways. For example, a huge rock rolling down a mountainside careens downward. When a car is driven by a drunk, the car may careen down the road, hitting a number of people.
- During winter, automobiles speeding away on snow-covered roads are likely to careen and tumble, on application of brakes.
- During the Cold War period, when the USSR and the US aided and abetted either of the countries fighting with the other, the world careened between the possibility of a nuclear war on one side and temporary peace on the other.