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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from insane

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for insane


balmy, barmy [chiefly British], bats, batty, bedlam, bonkers, brainsick, bughouse [slang], certifiable, crackbrained, cracked, crackers, crackpot, cranky [dialect], crazed, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, demented, deranged, fruity [slang], gaga, haywire, kooky (also kookie), loco [slang], loony (also looney), loony tunes (or looney tunes), lunatic, mad, maniacal (also maniac), mental, meshuga (or meshugge), moonstruck, non compos mentis, nuts, nutty, psycho, psychotic, scatty [chiefly British], screwy, unbalanced, unhinged, unsound, wacko (also whacko), wacky (also whacky), wud [chiefly Scottish]


balanced, compos mentis, sane, sound, uncrazy

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs, and other Apple dignitaries, attended its opening, and for years TV crews have perched outside of it to document the insane lines that build up with each new iPhone launch. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Apple’s iconic cube on New York’s Fifth Avenue is back—and in color," 6 Sep. 2019 When Eddie meets a tragic end, Richie is driven nearly insane with grief. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "How IT Chapter Two Handles the LGBTQ Themes of Stephen King’s Novel," 7 Sep. 2019 Arsenal are masters at driving their supporters insane and Sunday's 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur was business as usual at the Emirates Stadium., "Ludicrous Arsenal Stats Prove the Gunners Really Are Their Own Worst Enemies," 1 Sep. 2019 But as matriarch Edna Turnblad, John Travolta did his best to honor the character’s Baltimore roots, giving her a Bawlamer accent that — much like the accent itself — drives some people insane, while others can’t get enough. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Here are 7 times the Baltimore accent has shown up on TV and movies. How’d they do, hon?," 23 Aug. 2019 And the truck traffic there is going to be insane on Pacheco Pass. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Environment report out on new $1 billion dam proposed for Santa Clara County," 9 Aug. 2019 Their magnificent powers were slowly killing them and driving them insane. Christian Holub,, "How Tom King's Batman run has built up to 'City of Bane'," 17 July 2019 Meanwhile, Popeyes' wildly popular new chicken sandwich many have compared to Chick-fil-A's flagship sandwich has been nearly impossible to find in North Texas this week due to insane demand and 30-minute lines. Dallas News, "Where do Chick-fil-A customers go on Sundays? A D-FW company has the answer and it's not Popeyes," 23 Aug. 2019 And while the articles about the filing have been fabulous, the tweets have been insane. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Inside the Bananas, Bonkers, and Unbelievable WeWork IPO Filing—Data Sheet," 16 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insane

Statistics for insane

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insane

The first known use of insane was in 1575

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insane



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

Keep scrolling for more



Legal Definition of insane

: affected with insanity

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on insane

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


to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!