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Al garete

Definition of Al garete

Word used in colloquial expressions such as “irse al garete”, meaning to fail, go wrong or spoil. It can also mean “a bit out of control” in contexts such as urban music songs.

It is also used in the seafaring expression al garete to indicate that a ship is going aimlessly, carried by the wind or current: “el barco se fue al garete para posteriormente hundirse”.


  1. Without direction, lost, lost, without a definite plan, failed or failed.
  2. A little out of control.

ORIGIN OF Al garete

Before being frequently used by urban music singers, it was used as part of the nautical language to designate a ship that has been left aimless at the mercy of the wind and the current.

In this sense, to be adrift means to be adrift at sea for some reason.

In a figurative sense, al garete is used to refer to someone who walks without direction, something out of control without direction or luck, without a determined purpose.

In urban slang used mostly by regeeaton singers, it means “to walk as you please, without thinking about what you are doing”.


On the other hand, this phrase can also be used colloquially to express disgust, displeasure or repulsion. For example: “Marta sent Pedro al garete”.

It is also often used in verbal locutions. For example, “irse algo al garete” means that something has gone wrong or has failed, as for example in the sentence: “este país se fue al garete”.

In urban music slang, “andar al garete” is used to refer to leading a disorderly life, without any direction.