delirium

play
noun de·lir·i·um \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm \

Definition of delirium

1 :an acute (see acute 1a(2)) mental disturbance characterized by confused thinking and disrupted attention usually accompanied by disordered speech and hallucinations
2 :frenzied excitement
  • he would stride about his room in a delirium of joy
  • —Thomas Wolfe
  • a crowd in a state of delirium

Examples of delirium in a Sentence

  1. In her delirium, nothing she said made any sense.

  2. shoppers running around in a delirium the day before Christmas

Recent Examples of delirium from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of delirium

Latin, from delirare to be crazy, literally, to leave the furrow (in plowing), from de- + lira furrow — more at learn


DELIRIUM Defined for English Language Learners

delirium

play
noun

Definition of delirium for English Language Learners

  • : a mental state in which you are confused and not able to think or speak clearly usually because of fever or some other illness

  • : a state of wild excitement and great happiness


DELIRIUM Defined for Kids

delirium

play
noun de·lir·i·um \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm \

Definition of delirium for Students

1 :a condition of mind in which thought and speech are confused usually because of a high fever or other illness
2 :wild excitement

Medical Dictionary

delirium

play
noun de·lir·i·um \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm \

medical Definition of delirium

:a mental disturbance characterized by confusion, disordered speech, and hallucinations


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a strongly worded attack

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!