Definition of hectic
- the hectic days before the holidays
- a hectic patient
hecticallyplay \ˈhek-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
- hectically busy
We both had hectic days at work.
She maintains a hectic schedule as a journalist and mother.
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.
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.
in a lather, keyed up;
: very busy and filled with activity
What made you want to look up hectic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz