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

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

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

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, "Rays reliever Sergio Romo embraces role as a pitching chameleon," 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, "In the Stanley Cup Finals, Alex Ovechkin’s Legacy Continues to Evolve," 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, "‘Shesus’ lives — and rocks — in Ray of Light’s ‘Superstar’," 19 May 2018 Boxes of Nesquik chocolate powder no longer include Nestle’s hyperkinetic bunny. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "In Sweeping War on Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger," 7 Feb. 2018 Around them the shouts and squeals of other children and the shrill whistles of a referee created a hyperkinetic cacophony reminiscent of any playground. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Bars on the Windows, Laughter Between the Lines," 15 Dec. 2017 As in video games, the action is lurid, hyperkinetic, and gruesomely violent, with nods to Grand Theft Auto and a comparably infelicitous treatment of the few women characters who show up. Chicago Reader, "The 2017 Chicago International Film Festival, reviewed," 12 Oct. 2017 Fifteen years later, Little Richard and Cindy Crawford reprised the ad, including a more hyperkinetic version of the classic jingle. OregonLive.com, "The 25 best celebrity TV ads ever, from Donald Trump's board game to Scarlett Johansson's sexy stand-up routine," 2 Aug. 2017 The scene takes Eggsy all over London, and in keeping with director Matthew Vaughn’s signature style, is hyperkinetic and wild. Christopher Rosen, PEOPLE.com, "Kinetic Kingsman: The Golden Circle Opening Scene Debuts at Comic-Con," 20 July 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of hyperkinetic

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hyperkinetic

Statistics for hyperkinetic

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hyperkinetic

The first known use of hyperkinetic was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hyperkinetic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hyperkinetic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hyperkinetic

Comments on hyperkinetic

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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