hectic

adjective hec·tic \ ˈhek-tik \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

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

adjective

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


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