hectic

adjective hec·tic \ ˈhek-tik \
|Updated on: 14 Jul 2018

Definition of hectic

1 : characterized by activity, excitement, or confusion
  • the hectic days before the holidays
2 a medical : of, relating to, or being a fluctuating but persistent fever (as in tuberculosis)
b : having a hectic fever
  • a hectic patient
3 : red, flushed
  • hectic color on her cheeks

hectically

play \ˈhek-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
    • hectically busy

Examples of hectic in a Sentence

  1. We both had hectic days at work.

  2. She maintains a hectic schedule as a journalist and mother.

Recent Examples of hectic from the Web

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

Semantic crisis Intervention

Some people are bothered by changes in a word’s meaning (see: literally), while others have a more relaxed attitude towards semantic drift. For those who feel vexed when a word seems to have suddenly changed its spots, it may be of some comfort to know that words in English do this all the time; crisis is a fine example. Originally, crisis denoted “the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever.” Now it most commonly means “a difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention,” yet few people insist that it should be used exclusively in its older meaning. The normality of semantic change can be seen in another word that first appeared in febrile contexts: hectic, which now is primarily used to mean “very busy,” originally referred to a fever that was fluctuating but recurrent.

Origin and Etymology of hectic

Middle English etyk, from Anglo-French etique, from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos habitual, consumptive, from echein to have — more at scheme


HECTIC Defined for English Language Learners

hectic

Definition of hectic for English Language Learners

  • : very busy and filled with activity


HECTIC Defined for Kids

hectic

adjective hec·tic \ ˈhek-tik \

Definition of hectic for Students

: filled with excitement, activity, or confusion
  • We had a hectic day of shopping.

Medical Dictionary

hectic

adjective hec·tic \ ˈhek-tik \

medical Definition of hectic

1 : of, relating to, or being a fluctuating but persistent fever (as in tuberculosis)
2 : having a hectic fever
  • a hectic patient


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

one who attends or assists a leader

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
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!