Medical Definition of amok
: an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malaysian culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior occurring worldwide in numerous countries and cultures <Amok is a condition in South Asian and Pacific Islander cultures when a person attacks and tries to kill others.—Christopher A. Kearney and Timothy J. Trull, Abnormal Psychology and Life, 2011> <… research suggests that amok can and does occur in other countries, such as Laos, the Philippines, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, and even the United States. Certain acts of random violence (e.g., school shootings and office shootings) may actually be presentations of an American version of amok.—Michael Gomez, in Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology, 2006>
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