bon·​kers ˈbäŋ-kərz How to pronounce bonkers (audio)
informal : very fond, enthusiastic, or excited
She's bonkers for/about opera.
He's bonkers for/about her.
The fans went bonkers when their team won.
informal : very angry, annoyed, or bothered
Faced with the choice of being driven bonkers by their colicky newborn or inviting an outsider into their lives, Phil and Julie sanely decide to find a nanny.Booklist
And the internet went completely and utterly bonkers about it, with critics climbing over one another to criticize Cyrus …Tom Hawking
informal : surprisingly or shockingly excessive or outrageous
bonkers prices
a bonkers accusation
informal : going beyond what is normal or conventional in a way that is fun, impressive, exciting, etc.
High-end, high-concept, completely bonkers brilliance: that's what arts festivals are for, in my opinion.Max Rashbrooke
One of The Future's zanier aspects is a bonkers eight-minute R&B arrangement of the Irving Berlin standard "Always," complete with horns and background vocals.Anthony DeCurtis
The Queen of Black Magic is a rollicking rollercoaster of a horror flick. … It's the sort of bonkers throw-out-all-the-stops ride that brings to mind Sam Raimi's Evil Dead films …Jason Adams
informal + sometimes offensive : not mentally sound
Meanwhile, the greedy trustees of her fortune are trying to confuse her enough to have her declared bonkers so they can make their jobs permanent.Ray Olson

Examples of bonkers in a Sentence

You have to be bonkers to gamble that much. I was driven bonkers by the noise.
Recent Examples on the Web Hulu’s new show from the creator of Luther is a totally bonkers melange of sci-fi scenarios, global doom, and stabbiness. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 7 Mar. 2018 Graffiti historian Roger Gastman—who helped orchestrate MOCA’s record-setting Art in the Streets show in 2011—takes over a 40,000-square-foot warehouse on the edge of Chinatown for a totally bonkers street art experience. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, 21 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bonkers.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from bonk + -ers (as in crackers)

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of bonkers was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near bonkers

Cite this Entry

“Bonkers.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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