hy·​per·​ki·​net·​ic | \ ˌhī-pər-kə-ˈne-tik How to pronounce hyperkinetic (audio) , -kī- \

Definition of hyperkinetic

1 : of, relating to, or affected with hyperkinesis or hyperactivity the hyperkinetic child
2 : characterized by fast-paced or frenetic activity a hyperkinetic movie

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Since the prefix hyper- means "above, beyond", hyperkinetic describes motion beyond the usual. The word is usually applied to children, and often describes the condition of almost uncontrollable activity or muscular movements called attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder *(ADHD). Kids with ADHD are usually not just hyperkinetic but also inattentive, forgetful, and flighty. Though they're often treated with drugs, many experts believe there are better ways of dealing with the problem. Lots of people now shorten both *hyperactive and hyperkinetic to simply hyper ("He's been hyper all morning"), but usually don't mean it too seriously.

Examples of hyperkinetic in a Sentence

an elderly couple who are unable to control their hyperkinetic grandson
Recent Examples on the Web The alignment of hyperkinetic video with storytelling fluidity and heart allowed Tony and Maria’s tragic romance to be reborn for a new era. Charles Mcnulty Theater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2020 In Britain, the hyperkinetic, deeply tanned Mr. Maschler was almost as well known as his writers. Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2020 Until Roth’s exit at the peak of the original band’s popularity in 1985, the duo epitomized the eternal struggle between guitar hero and lead singer, each fueled on hyperkinetic energy, if not always in sync. cleveland, 6 Oct. 2020 While the dual parts provide him with a showcase of his hyperkinetic talents, Williams marvelously shows the pain beneath the clownish surface. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Nov. 2019 Every good hero saga needs a sidekick, and Jorrel Javier fills the bill with hyperkinetic energy as the bumbling-but-loyal buddy Grover, a satyr who … um … talks to squirrels. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, 20 June 2019 During much of his nine-year tenure with the San Francisco Giants from 2008-’16, the hyperkinetic Romo cheerily served as the catcher for ceremonial first pitches, invariably bouncing from behind the plate to hug whoever threw them. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, 31 May 2018 So many bad things surfaced for the Capitals during a hyperkinetic opener that featured the most lead changes (four), according to the Elias Sports Bureau, in Stanley Cup finals history. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, 29 May 2018 Christian Mejia’s ever-changing lighting design, on Kuo-Hao Luo’s industrial, scaffolding-heavy set design, gives the show the hyperkinetic energy of a rock concert until Jesus’ last moments. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 May 2018

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

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hyperkinetic

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The first known use of hyperkinetic was in 1888

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Cite this Entry

“Hyperkinetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hyperkinetic. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hyperkinetic


hy·​per·​ki·​net·​ic | \ -ˈnet-ik How to pronounce hyperkinetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of hyperkinetic

: of, relating to, or affected with hyperkinesis or hyperactivity the hyperkinetic child

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