fren·zy | \ˈfren-zē \
plural frenzies

Definition of frenzy 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a temporary madness in a rage amounting to a frenzy

b : a violent mental or emotional agitation … almost weeping in a frenzy of anxiety …— Colleen McCullough

2 : intense usually wild and often disorderly compulsive or agitated activity a shopping frenzy … the mob chanted itself into a frenzy— C. Carr


frenzied; frenzying

Definition of frenzy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to affect with frenzy

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Examples of frenzy in a Sentence


the buying frenzy just before Christmas in its frenzy to flee the danger, the crowd became uncontrollable, and a number of people were trampled to death


local football fans who were frenzied by the fact that their team was going to the Super Bowl
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For example, in 2014 Monica Gagliano and her colleagues at the University of Western Australia and the University of Firenze in Italy published a paper that caused a media frenzy, on experiments with Mimosa pudica plants. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Slime Molds Remember—But Do They Learn?," 14 July 2018 To many onlookers' surprise, the old Hummer caused a bidding frenzy. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's used-car stock market: What most buyers don't know," 1 July 2018 The intended murder squad was thus reduced to eight or nine who, when Yurovsky gave the order to open fire, launched into a frenzy of wildly inaccurate shooting, several of them disobeying instructions and shooting Nicholas first. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside the Romanov Family's Final Days," 1 July 2018 This weekend’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and American Actress Meghan Markle is fast-approaching, causing a frenzy of questions. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Here's How to Watch the Royal Wedding: Streaming, TV or in a Theater," 18 May 2018 The engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle caused a media frenzy in November 2017, and Lifetime took notice. Kate Stanhope,, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romance makes for an ideal Lifetime movie," 7 May 2018 There’s no doubt that Kate’s royal status contributes to her quick exits from the hospital: Her presence there causes such a frenzy outside, which can be disruptive to the other patients. Diana Pearl,, "Did Princess Diana Leave the Hospital as Quickly as Kate Middleton Did After Giving Birth?," 24 Apr. 2018 Though the donation was completely legal and McCabe followed FBI ethics protocols, this caused a frenzy on the right because McAuliffe has close ties to the Clintons. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Reportedly Asked the Acting FBI Chief Who He Voted For, Didn’t Like Answer," 24 Jan. 2018 His furry slip-on version caused a frenzy both on and off the runway last year. Styling: Sabrina Grande, Harper's BAZAAR, "Wait List: The Piece To Covet," 26 Jan. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bychkov even surpassed the strict-constructionist Muti in his faithfulness to the score’s wide dynamic range, in his elastic shaping of pages in which frenzied dramatic statements give way to lush melodies and tender pastoral moods. John Von Rhein,, "Semyon Bychkov electrifies Orchestra Hall with blazing CSO account of Tchaikovsky's 'Manfred'," 4 May 2018 Orlando City’s famously frenzied fans want their team to match their intensity. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "Gritty 10-man Orlando City makes statement with D.C. United draw," 3 Mar. 2018 But the beyond-his-years poise Ball has shown, amid such a loud and difficult indoctrination to the pros, is praiseworthy no matter what the numbers say, given the depths of he frenzy swirling around him. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Fix Lonzo Ball’s Shot? Look to This Player for a Blueprint," 11 Dec. 2017 Speculation that the House might pass the Senate bill as-is faded last week, in part because the Senate’s frenzied, last-minute writing of the bill led to some glaring mistakes that will need to be mended. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Susan Collins Says She’s Not a Definitive ‘Yes’ On Taxes," 10 Dec. 2017 After all of the drama and miscommunication before Hurricane Irma and all of the complicated rescheduling after the storm, Frost had the Knights frenzied and frothing at the mouth. Mike Bianchi,, "Memo to UCF fans after rout of Memphis: You’re missing a great show," 1 Oct. 2017 Kerensky had defended revolutionaries in court and sometimes moved crowds to frenzy with his speeches. Olga Ingurazova, Smithsonian, "What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution?," 29 Sep. 2017 Although the current boom feels frenzied, Pappas has been working on the site since 1999, and the first residents moved in more than a decade ago to those houses in the mid-2000s. Ely Portillo, charlotteobserver, "Caught up in booming places like South End? Don’t forget about Steele Creek and Berewick," 31 July 2017 As frenzied selling accelerated in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London, unfathomable amounts of wealth vanished in a matter of hours. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "After ‘Brexit’ Vote, Investors Are Gripped by a Panic Last Seen in 2008," 24 June 2016

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


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


1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frenzy


Middle English frenesie, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin phrenesia, alteration of Latin phrenesis, from phreneticus


see frenzy entry 1

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Statistics for frenzy

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for frenzy

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

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More Definitions for frenzy



English Language Learners Definition of frenzy

: great and often wild or uncontrolled activity


fren·zy | \ˈfren-zē \
plural frenzies

Kids Definition of frenzy

: great and often wild or disorderly activity


fren·zy | \ˈfren-zē \
plural frenzies

Medical Definition of frenzy 

1a : a temporary madness

b : a violent mental or emotional agitation

2 : intense usually wild and often disorderly compulsive or agitated activity

Other Words from frenzy

frenzied \-zēd \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on frenzy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frenzy

Spanish Central: Translation of frenzy

Nglish: Translation of frenzy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frenzy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on frenzy

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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