frenetic

adjective
fre·​net·​ic | \ fri-ˈne-tik How to pronounce frenetic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce frenetically (audio) \ adverb
freneticism \ fri-​ˈne-​tə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce freneticism (audio) \ 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

Balance was ultimately restored after a frenetic few minutes that threatened soccer norms. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Portugal, Spain Survive Late-Game Chaos to Advance," 25 June 2018 Griezmann's passing skills and direct style combined with Mbappe's dribbling qualities and frenetic pace should make an excellent strike duo in Russia. Samuel Petrequin, chicagotribune.com, "Star-studded France feeling pressure ahead of debut against Australia," 15 June 2018 After a frenetic final minute of regulation, Tri-West trailed Beech Grove 52-50 with only 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Jack Carney, Indianapolis Star, "IHSAA girls basketball: Tri-West upsets Beech Grove, sets up sectional final matchup vs. Danville," 2 Feb. 2018 The excitement and frenetic pace of the holidays behind us. Neil Cavuto, Fox News, "Cavuto: As if we need a storm to remind us Christmas is over," 3 Jan. 2018 Fashion Amidst the frenetic energy of New York City and the near-constant stream of news coverage that casts a dark pall overhead, there is a beacon of hope on Broadway in New York City: the Phluid Project. Charlotte Diamond, Teen Vogue, "This Gender-Neutral Store Aims to Create a Safe Space For Its Customer," 20 Mar. 2019 But Gorbacheva is a free spirit, magnetic with a frenetic, open energy. Vogue, "Irina Gorbacheva Is Breaking the Mold of What It Means to Be a Russian Actress," 18 Mar. 2019 The company’s sudden rise has put Starbucks, Luckin and McDonald’s Corp. in a race to build the delivery system best tuned to the frenetic Chinese market. ... Julie Jargon, WSJ, "Starbucks Fights Hot Startup in China," 13 Mar. 2019 Even at its most frenetic and thundering, there’s a coherence to Mr. Graves’s drum work. Milford Graves, New York Times, "Review: ‘Milford Graves Full Mantis’ Delivers a Lot of Heart," 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

13 Jun 2019

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

More from Merriam-Webster on frenetic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frenetic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frenetic

Spanish Central: Translation of frenetic

Nglish: Translation of frenetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frenetic for Arabic Speakers

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

having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!