in·​sane | \ (ˌ)in-ˈsān How to pronounce insane (audio) \

Definition of insane

1a(1) : exhibiting a severely disordered state of mind : affected with mental illness
(2) law : affected with insanity (see insanity sense 2) criminally insane
b : unable to think in a clear or sensible way : crazy insane with jealousy not used technically
2 : used by, typical of, or intended for mentally ill people an insane asylum
3 : absurd an insane scheme for making money
4 informal : outrageously high or extreme making insane amounts of money The monster truck pursued him at insane speeds … More than 22,000 athletes descend on Philadelphia's Franklin Field to chug insane amounts of Gatorade …— Chris Ballard also : exceptionally good or impressive Minnesota … has blazed out to an insane start, taking an early lead in the Northwest Division. — Tom Wheatley With his rough-edged baritone and ear for insane hooks, [reggae singer] Baby Cham always sounds wicked. — Rob Kenner

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Other Words from insane

insanely adverb
insaneness \ (ˌ)in-​ˈsān-​nəs How to pronounce insaneness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for insane



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Examples of insane in a Sentence

The murderer was found to be criminally insane. She was insane with jealousy. He had an insane look in his eyes. She likes to drive at insane speeds. He had this insane idea that he could get rich by selling old computers.
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Recent Examples on the Web But the excitement surrounding the event wasn’t just about the athletes riding insane lines down the the South Bowl or hitting massive airs. Christine Yu, Outside Online, "The Freeride World Tour Commits to Equal Prize Money," 21 Jan. 2020 On Thursday rumors started to float around that Jose Altuve and other members of the Astros wore buzzers on their shoulders that helped them steal signs, which would be just insane. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "UFC 246 is the biggest fight of Conor McGregor's career," 17 Jan. 2020 But the question is, should anyone who is criminally insane be able to get a gun? Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "'Carnage would have been greater': Man who stopped Texas church shooter rips Bloomberg gun policies," 23 Jan. 2020 To be a part of it at this capacity is just insane. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Parker Kit Hill Wants To See More Queer Men At NYFW," 22 Jan. 2020 Underhill cited research done by a Reynolds’ witness that suggests prison conditions, such as his, more often than not drive inmates insane. Edmund H. Mahony,, "A federal judge is challenging how Connecticut treats its former death row inmates, saying they are held under cruel and unusual conditions," 21 Oct. 2019 What's insane about all this is that further tariffs and especially competitive currency devaluations won't benefit either economy. Fortune, "The Week Trump and Xi Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trade War—CEO Daily," 10 Aug. 2019 Beyond celebrating our nation's leaders, Presidents' Day is a popular time for some pretty insane sales and promotions. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Presidents' Day Sales on Appliances of 2020," 17 Jan. 2020 At +300, this is insane value for a very likely outcome. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "National Championship Prop Bet Payday," 13 Jan. 2020

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

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for insane

Latin insanus, from in- + sanus sane

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Time Traveler for insane

Time Traveler

The first known use of insane was in 1575

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Statistics for insane

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce insane (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insane

: having or showing severe mental illness
: unable to think in a clear or sensible way
used in the phrase drive/make (someone) insane to describe annoying or bothering someone very much.


in·​sane | \ in-ˈsān How to pronounce insane (audio) \

Kids Definition of insane

1 : not normal or healthy in mind
2 : used by or for people who are insane an insane asylum
3 : very foolish or unreasonable

Other Words from insane

insanely adverb


in·​sane | \ (ˈ)in-ˈsān How to pronounce insane (audio) \

Medical Definition of insane

1 : exhibiting a severely disordered state of mind : affected with mental illness
2 : used by, typical of, or intended for mentally ill people an insane asylum

Other Words from insane

insanely adverb

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Legal Definition of insane

: affected with insanity

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More from Merriam-Webster on insane

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insane

Spanish Central: Translation of insane

Nglish: Translation of insane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insane for Arabic Speakers

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