lunatic fringe


Definition of lunatic fringe

: the members of a usually political or social movement espousing extreme, eccentric, or fanatical views

Examples of lunatic fringe in a Sentence

His nomination is opposed by the party's lunatic fringe.
Recent Examples on the Web An Executive Council meeting at the college, where the state was to formally accept $27 million in federal vaccine aid, was canceled after it was hijacked by a bunch of lunatic fringe antivaxxers., 30 Sep. 2021 Davis endured nasty and sometimes threatening letters from a true lunatic fringe. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2021 And yet, in recent months, the lab leak thesis has inched its way from the lunatic fringe towards the credible center of American public discourse. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 25 May 2021 Republicans disavow their lunatic fringe just enough to create a prophylactic of plausible deniability, while allowing the tumors to metastasize. Alyson Cole, Fortune, 4 Mar. 2021 Some Democrats may regard such olive branches as naïvely ineffectual or as pandering to the lunatic fringe. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2021 Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, should not make decisions based on the moods or desires of the lunatic fringe. Scott Ostler,, 15 Aug. 2020 Even a coach like Frost, who grew up a football hero in Nebraska and quarterbacked the Cornhuskers to a national championship during the program’s heyday, isn’t immune to the noxious negativity created by the lunatic fringe. Mike Bianchi,, 25 Oct. 2019 The panic in Peshawar showed that concerns are not limited to a lunatic fringe, however. The Economist, 4 July 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lunatic fringe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lunatic fringe

1913, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About lunatic fringe

Time Traveler for lunatic fringe

Time Traveler

The first known use of lunatic fringe was in 1913

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near lunatic fringe


lunatic fringe


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lunatic fringe

Cite this Entry

“Lunatic fringe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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