fran·​tic | \ˈfran-tik \

Definition of frantic 

1a archaic : mentally deranged

b : emotionally out of control

2 : marked by fast and nervous, disordered, or anxiety-driven activity made a frantic search for the lost child frantic cries for help

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Other Words from frantic

frantically \ˈfran-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
franticness \ˈfran-​tik-​nəs \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Those vibrations drowned out the insect-like clicks of camera shutters and the frantic splashing of predator-evading Banana River fish in a monumental wall of noise. Mike Wall,, "A Fireball and a Wall of Sound: What NASA's Epic Solar Probe Launch Felt Like," 14 Aug. 2018 During the 911 call, Cordon sounds frantic and out of breath. Jenny Vrentas,, "Everything We Know About the Allegations Against LeSean McCoy," 12 July 2018 Lavrov, speaking on a trip to Belarus, said British officials have engaged in ‘‘frantic and convulsive efforts to find arguments to support their indefensible position’’ instead of producing evidence., "Poisoned ex-spy in UK no longer in critical condition, hospital says," 7 Apr. 2018 In Sydney, Australia, in 2010, a family turned frantic when, for two weeks, an anonymous someone sent the mother, her 12-year-old daughter, and the girl's friend pornographic images and threatening messages on Facebook. Susan Dominus, Redbook, "Underage on Facebook," 4 Jan. 2012 These scenarios can also put you into a moment that feels desperate or frantic, and the act of trying to solve the puzzle feels scary in itself. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Midnight Scenes are the perfect Halloween weekend bite-sized games," 28 Oct. 2018 The setting: Even on busy nights with all 55 seats filled, Artusi still feels relaxed, not frantic, a sign of a seasoned staff. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "The best dinner-for-two deal in Seattle: a bottle of wine and 2 pasta entrees for $35," 18 Sep. 2018 And a frantic search effort by local authorities had not been able to find him. Jeff Weiner,, "CHRISTINA GRIMMIE: THE MURDER OF A RISING STAR," 2 July 2018 As those fuzzy maybe-promises about troop withdrawal or cancelled joint exercises emerged from the summit, Japan and South Korea were seemingly left in the dark, somewhere between concerned and frantic. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "These Are the Questions Foreign-Policy Experts Are Asking About the Trump-Kim Summit," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frantic.' 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 frantic

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for frantic

Middle English frenetik, frantik — more at frenetic

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Statistics for frantic

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frantic

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

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More Definitions for frantic



English Language Learners Definition of frantic

: feeling or showing a lot of fear and worry

: having a lot of wild and hurried activity


fran·​tic | \ˈfran-tik \

Kids Definition of frantic

1 : feeling or showing fear and worry a frantic search

2 : having wild and hurried activity They made a frantic attempt to finish.

Other Words from frantic

frantically \-​ti-​kə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on frantic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frantic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frantic

Spanish Central: Translation of frantic

Nglish: Translation of frantic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frantic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on frantic

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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