To become difficult to control:
It was the end of term and the children were getting a little out of hand.
Examples from the Corpus
get out of hand
• The costs have continued to increase, and now seem to be getting out of hand.
• But has the Fed failed to prevent the imbalances created by the recent boom from getting out of hand?
• My mum used to sit nearby and make sure nothing got out of hand.
• We let ourselves get out of hand.
• It was a practical joke that got a little out of hand.
• Pull or spray garden weeds before they get out of hand.
• Hundreds of police were poised to intervene if things got out of hand, but they did not.
• Police were called in when the situation began to get out of hand.
• Things started to get out of hand.
• This was getting out of hand.
• But eventually it became clear that things were getting out of hand.
If a situation or person gets out of hand, they become impossible to control any longer
The demonstration was getting out of hand.
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English