fran·​tic ˈfran-tik How to pronounce frantic (audio)
: emotionally out of control
: marked by fast and nervous, disordered, or anxiety-driven activity
made a frantic search for the lost child
frantic cries for help
archaic : mentally unsound
franticness noun

Examples of frantic in a Sentence

The girl was frantic with fear. They made a frantic search for the missing child. They were making frantic preparations for the party. a frantic attempt to finish on schedule
Recent Examples on the Web Read more: How Andy Reid comforted frantic teen at Chiefs parade shooting. Eleanor Nash, Kansas City Star, 20 Feb. 2024 In Avdiivka, Ukraine appeared to have waited too long to start withdrawing and the frantic retreat quickly turned costly. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2024 According to the Compton Fire Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, authorities responded to a 911 call on Friday morning at around 8 a.m. Authorities said that a woman made a frantic call that her 35-year-old boyfriend was severely hurt after being attacked by pit bulls. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 18 Feb. 2024 David Fernandez-Moreno was frantic to find his cat, Shadow, when the feline somehow slipped out of his Philadelphia home and disappeared. Cathy Free, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, my parents, who were frantic, had reached out to an attorney and were working to get me out. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 4 Feb. 2024 The pacing of the opening episodes is more frantic than slow burn, and the season culminates in a shootout set piece slightly bigger and more Die Hard-esque than those of the previous seasons. J. Oliver Conroy, Washington Examiner, 12 Jan. 2024 Three crew members were abducted, setting off frantic negotiations with local gangs, who were demanding a ransom of $1 million per hostage. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 12 Jan. 2024 The redshirt sophomore scored a season-high 23 points, Lance Jones added 17 and No. 1 Purdue fended off a frantic late charge from the ninth-ranked Fighting Illini for an 83-78 victory. Michael Marot, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History


Middle English frenetik, frentik, frantike "temporarily deranged, delirious" — more at frenetic

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of frantic was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near frantic

Cite this Entry

“Frantic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


fran·​tic ˈfrant-ik How to pronounce frantic (audio)
: wildly excited
frantic cries for help
was frantic with fear
: marked by wild and hurried activity
a frantic search for the missing child
frantically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on frantic

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