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 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 This center was based on a series of broad agreements, serious departure from any of which marked one, in the eyes of the media, as lying along a continuum from merely wacky to insane. David Graeber, The New York Review of Books, "The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the ‘Brexit Election’," 13 Jan. 2020 Adding to an already insane summer of 2016 after the Cavs won it all, Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention. Joshua Gunter, cleveland, " photographer Joshua Gunter’s favorite photos from the last decade," 27 Dec. 2019 The sight of two bearded Colts right next to each other? — the reaction was insane. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Thumbs up, thumbs down: Big-play Colts defense bounces back against Carolina," 23 Dec. 2019 To believe in your beard can feel insane, like believing in God, or in yourself. William Alden, The Atlantic, "Where Toxic Masculinity Goes to Die," 1 Oct. 2019 Many people who did not grow up in the U.S. find the American college-sports phenomenon to be absolutely insane. Michael Rosenberg,, "As NCAA Gets Dragged Toward Just Change, Not Every Aftereffect May Be Positive," 30 Sep. 2019 The guest list was insane and brimming with A-List talent, including the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Hailey Baldwin. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner Wears a Basically-Naked Fairy Costume for Kendall Jenner's Birthday Party," 2 Nov. 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.

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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

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insane.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 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

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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