Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

berserk

play
noun ber·serk \bə(r)-ˈsərk, ˌbər-, -ˈzərk; ˈbər-ˌ\

Definition of berserk

  1. 1 :  an ancient Scandinavian warrior frenzied in battle and held to be invulnerable

  2. 2 :  one whose actions are recklessly defiant




2

berserk

adjective ber·serk

Simple Definition of berserk

  • : crazy and violent especially because of anger

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of berserk

  1. :  frenzied, crazed —usually used in the phrase go berserk <sinister ravings of an imagination gone berserk — John Gruen>

berserk adverb
berserkly adverb

Did You Know?

Berserk comes from Old Norse berserkr, which combines ber- ("bear") and serkr ("shirt"). According to Norse legend, berserkrs were warriors who wore bearskin coverings and worked themselves into such frenzies during combat that they became immune to the effects of steel and fire. Berserk was borrowed into English (first as a noun and later as an adjective) in the early 19th century, when interest in Scandinavian myth and history was high. It was considered a slang term at first, but it has since gained broader acceptance.

1851

First Known Use of berserk

1851



BERSERK Defined for Kids

berserk

play
adjective ber·serk \bər-ˈsərk, -ˈzərk\

Definition of berserk for Students

  1. :  out of control especially due to extreme anger or excitement




Medical Dictionary

berserk

play play
adjective ber·serk \bə(r)-ˈsərk, ˌbər-, -ˈzərk, ˈbər-ˌ\

Medical Definition of berserk

  1. :  marked by crazed or frenzied behavior suggestive of sudden mental imbalance—usually used in the phrase go berserk

berserk adverb




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up berserk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex soothe reduce disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ