adjective ap·o·plec·tic \ ˌa-pə-ˈplek-tik \
|Updated on: 1 Aug 2018

Definition of apoplectic

1 medical : of, relating to, or causing apoplexy or stroke; also : affected with, susceptible to, or showing symptoms of apoplexy or stroke
Note: Use of apoplectic in medical contexts relating to stroke still occurs but is now generally considered dated.
2 a : of a kind to cause or apparently cause stroke
  • an apoplectic rage
b : extremely enraged
  • was apoplectic over the news


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of apoplectic in a Sentence

  1. Giuliani was apoplectic when the gangster fought off murder and racketeering charges and sauntered out of court in March 1987 after a sensational acquittal to bask in the TV lights. —Gail SheehyVanity FairJune 2000
  2. The quarrel was splendidly acrimonious. When Charles Perrault, now remembered for his fairy tales, rose in the French Academy in 1687 to champion modern authors, Nicolas Boileau, the arbiter of taste, waxed so apoplectic he lost his voice. —David CowardNew York Times Book Review27 Apr. 1997
  3. Don Hewitt, the program's venerable executive producer, becomes positively apoplectic when I mention the subject during a conversation about Amanpour's job negotiations. The three networks had offered her the opportunity to contribute to their evening news shows as well as the their newsmagazines. —Leslie BennettsVanity FairSeptember 1996
  4. She was positively apoplectic with anger when she realized she had been cheated.

  5. the coach was so apoplectic when the player missed the free throw that he threw his clipboard onto the court

Recent Examples of apoplectic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apoplectic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of apoplectic

French or Late Latin; French apoplectique, from Late Latin apoplecticus, from Greek apoplēktikos, from apoplēssein — see apoplexy

apoplectic Synonyms


delighted, pleased;


bent out of shape, blue in the face, fit to be tied, hopping mad, hot under the collar, in a fume, in a huff, in a pet;

APOPLECTIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of apoplectic for English Language Learners

  • : very angry and excited

  • medical : relating to or caused by apoplexy

Medical Dictionary


adjective ap·o·plec·tic \ ˌap-ə-ˈplek-tik \

medical Definition of apoplectic

1 : of, relating to, or causing stroke
2 : affected with, inclined to, or showing symptoms of stroke


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

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fullness to the point of excess

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