frenetic

adjective
fre·net·ic | \ fri-ˈne-tik \

Definition of frenetic 

: frenzied, frantic a frenetic attempt to beat a deadline frenetic bursts of energy

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from frenetic

frenetically \fri-ˈne-ti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb
freneticism \fri-ˈne-tə-ˌsi-zəm \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for frenetic

Synonyms

delirious, ferocious, feverish, fierce, frantic, frenzied, furious, mad, rabid, violent, wild

Antonyms

relaxed

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

When life gets frenetic, things can seem absolutely insane - at least that seems to be what folks in the Middle Ages thought. Frenetik, in Middle English, meant "insane." When the word no longer denoted stark raving madness, it conjured up fanatical zealots. Today its seriousness has been downgraded to something more akin to hectic. But if you trace frenetic back through Anglo-French and Latin, you'll find that it comes from Greek phrenitis, a term describing an inflammation of the brain. Phrēn, the Greek word for "mind," is a root you will recognize in schizophrenic. As for frenzied and frantic, they're not only synonyms of frenetic but relatives as well. Frantic comes from frenetik, and frenzied traces back to phrenitis.

Examples of frenetic in a Sentence

The celebration was noisy and frenetic. the frenetic rush to get every member of the cast in place before the curtain went up

Recent Examples on the Web

Still, there's a certain ineffable quality to the way McCaw defends and hustles that lifts a team, a frenetic energy that can help turn the tide or sustain a run. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The Best Players Left in NBA Free Agency," 9 July 2018 On an evening that ended with such frenetic energy, Pickford had little to do earlier. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "Pickford the hero as England’s penalty curse ends," 3 July 2018 Delegations from both countries then launched into a frenetic period of negotiations that are expected to culminate with Tuesday's meeting. Fox News, "Trump casts North Korea summit as 'one-time shot' for Kim," 9 June 2018 Even on Thursday, Washington blew two leads in a frenetic five-goal second period that ended with Vegas ahead by 3-2. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "The Washington Capitals, After Years of Frustration, Win the Stanley Cup," 7 June 2018 Anna Maxwell Martin plays Julia with a kind of all-in frenetic energy that’s admirable but unrelenting. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "In Sharon Horgan’s Motherland, All Moms Are Bad Moms," 14 May 2018 In all, the Cavs sent six players and received four, which opens up a pair of roster spots so Cleveland can be active during what is expected to be a frenetic buyout period. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers are contenders again after Koby Altman transforms roster: Chris Fedor," 8 Feb. 2018 As an antidote to the frenetic nature of a lot of children’s TV of the day, Rogers preferred a measured pace on his show and even made judicious use of silence. Walter Addiego, Houston Chronicle, "Review: A moving documentary about everyone’s favorite ‘Neighbor’," 13 June 2018 There's barely a second to breathe in between the Halo jumping, the motorcycle crashing, the helicopter ramming, and, in the tedious countdown-clock climax, the frenetic frame-toggling between widescreen 2.39 and IMAX 1.90 aspect ratios. Omar Sanchez, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': What the Critics Are Saying," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of frenetic

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frenetic

Middle English frenetik insane, from Anglo-French, from Latin phreneticus, modification of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis inflammation of the brain, from phren-, phrēn diaphragm, mind

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frenetic

Listen to Our Podcast about frenetic

Dictionary Entries near frenetic

french yellow

Freneau

frenemy

frenetic

frenetical

Frentón

frenular

Statistics for frenetic

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frenetic

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for frenetic

frenetic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of frenetic

: filled with excitement, activity, or confusion : wild or frantic

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frenetic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!