de·​lir·​i·​um | \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm How to pronounce delirium (audio) \

Definition of delirium

1 : an acute (see acute sense 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

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Examples of delirium in a Sentence

In her delirium, nothing she said made any sense. shoppers running around in a delirium the day before Christmas

Recent Examples on the Web

Centrally positioned around 25 yards out, the Welshman arched a superb bending effort away from the despairing dive of City goalkeeper Ederson and into the top corner - sending the small but raucous Vitality crowd into delirium., "Harry Wilson Shows Liverpool What They Are Missing After Joining Elite Goalscoring Club," 26 Aug. 2019 These recommendations are based on concerns about health problems that, although rare, can occur after consumption, including seizures, delirium, rapid heart rate, stroke, and even sudden death. Sara Talpos, Quartz, "The dangers of energy drinks can be fatal—especially for teens," 10 July 2019 That was evident from the first minute right up to the final whistle - when the entire squad and staff streamed onto the pitch in a state of unbridled delirium after their 2-1 win., "Women's World Cup: Anticlimactic End to England's Campaign Must Not Overshadow Lionesses Progress," 6 July 2019 Acute encephalitis syndrome causes inflammation of the brain, resulting in fever, delirium and eventually coma in most cases. Swati Gupta, CNN, "Brain disease linked to lychee toxins kills 47 children in India," 13 June 2019 The tabloid delirium that followed Sunny von Bülow’s mysterious coma may have left her children reeling, but Ala and Alexander resolved to become activists. Carl Swanson, Town & Country, "How Sunny Von Bulow's Daughter Ala Isham Found Her Voice," 14 Mar. 2019 For weeks, Albert's health had been going downhill, devolving into fever and delirium. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 Immobility during a hospital stay is linked to delirium, long-term disabilities and hospital readmission, and is widely considered a preventable aliment. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Do Doctors and Nurses Skip Hand Washing? Cue the Video," 28 May 2018 In addition to all that, rapid heartbeat or breathing, sunken eyes, fever, confusion, or delirium can all be signs of severe dehydration. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here’s Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day," 2 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of delirium

circa 1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for delirium

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

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Statistics for delirium

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for delirium

The first known use of delirium was circa 1563

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More Definitions for delirium



English Language Learners Definition of delirium

: 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


de·​lir·​i·​um | \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm How to pronounce delirium (audio) \

Kids Definition of delirium

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


de·​lir·​i·​um | \ di-ˈlir-ē-əm How to pronounce delirium (audio) \

Medical Definition of delirium

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

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