fran·​tic | \ ˈfran-tik How to pronounce frantic (audio) \

Definition of frantic

1 : 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
3 archaic : mentally deranged

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Other Words from frantic

franticness \ ˈfran-​tik-​nəs How to pronounce frantic (audio) \ 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 Darren doesn’t pick up Ioan’s frantic phone call telling him to stop and walk away. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, "Gangs of London Premiere Recap: The Old Ultraviolence," 4 Apr. 2021 Kalbinur was in Malaysia, studying for her PhD in business management, when her mother and Renagul appeared on a frantic WeChat video call. Washington Post, "Their Uyghur relatives are imprisoned in China. From Virginia, they plead for help.," 19 Mar. 2021 Fallon, perhaps best known in Boston for his Fan Pier redevelopment, became involved after getting a frantic call from the Boston Home nursing facility in Dorchester soon after the pandemic hit. Globe Staff,, "Developer teams up with manufacturer to produce millions of N95 masks," 15 Mar. 2021 The Border Patrol confirmed that the tanker was found in Laredo following the frantic search in San Antonio. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Large-scale smuggling attempts increasing," 26 Feb. 2021 Four hours later, after a frantic search by neighbors and law enforcement, the minivan was found in another San Francisco neighborhood, with the children safe and unhurt inside. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "Carjackings Are Up—and Gig Workers Are Getting Victimized," 12 Feb. 2021 Later Ramsey and her boyfriend were headed to the grocery store when the frantic phone call came: Kaelin’s at Hopkins; she’s been shot. Tim Prudente,, "‘Mommy, why would they shoot me?’: Baltimore fourth-grader recovering after being shot buying Cheetos," 2 Mar. 2021 Lynn Rushton, the public art collection and conservation manager for the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, made a frantic call to document preservation firm TX-CERA. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "‘A stab in the heart’: Storm damage at Fair Park’s Hall of State put rare artifacts in peril," 26 Feb. 2021 Yet there is no frantic need for the clearance letter now with the G League still trying to resolve some outstanding issues and commit to a season. New York Times, "From Kobe to LeBron: Tragedy and Triumph in the N.B.A.," 30 Dec. 2020

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 3

History and Etymology for frantic

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

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Time Traveler for frantic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for frantic

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frantic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce frantic (audio) \

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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Comments on frantic

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