mad·​den·​ing | \ ˈmad-niŋ How to pronounce maddening (audio) , ˈma-dᵊn-iŋ\

Definition of maddening

1 : tending to craze
2a : tending to infuriate
b : tending to vex : irritating

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from maddening

maddeningly \ ˈmad-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce maddeningly (audio) , ˈma-​dᵊn-​iŋ-​ \ adverb

Examples of maddening in a Sentence

He has a maddening habit of interrupting other people. She shows a maddening inability to control her children.

Recent Examples on the Web

Jane also talks about a proposal to make dealing with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles less maddening and DeWine’s commitment to help Lake Erie., "State acts on jail while Cuyahoga council does nothing, Armond Budish details jail reforms, murder suspect accidentally freed, Ohio’s new top employer, Dan Gilbert pays up, Anthony Sowell settlement mystery and Mitchell’s flavors ranked – This Week in the CLE," 20 June 2019 Many people consider the gnats to be more maddening than mosquitoes because their bites can be more painful. Kris Maher, WSJ, "The Black Fly Is Here for Your Blood—and Dignity," 16 June 2019 Noise is not just maddening — it has also been linked to higher levels of stress, hypertension and heart disease. New York Times, "New York Is a Noisy City. One Man Got Revenge.," 4 June 2019 And there has been no more maddening recent example than the aftermath of the cascade of failures that enabled Nikolas Cruz to murder 17 people and injure 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. James Freeman, WSJ, "A New Sheriff for Parkland," 8 Feb. 2019 Five observations from the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout loss in Detroit on Tuesday: Is there a more maddening team in the NHL than the Flyers? Sam Carchidi,, "Red Wings 5, Flyers 4: Philly again plays down to its competition," 20 Mar. 2018 This Chinese approach is maddening enough for governments. Jeff Moon, WSJ, "The President Turns the Tables on China," 16 July 2018 His tranquil demeanor, generosity, and maddening compulsion to apologize for the smallest offense — and then apologize for doing so — earned him the nickname Easy. Aaron Gell, Longreads, "Did Brian Easley Have to Die?," 9 Apr. 2018 The video matches the weighty glory of the song with a maddening music video that couldn't have been easy to film. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Above & Beyond Climb French Alps For Breathtaking 'Always' Video: Watch," 19 Jan. 2018

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

circa 1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maddening

Statistics for maddening

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maddening

The first known use of maddening was circa 1743

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for maddening



English Language Learners Definition of maddening

: very annoying


mad·​den·​ing | \ ˈma-dᵊn-iŋ\

Kids Definition of maddening

: very annoying Her constant chatter is maddening.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on maddening

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maddening

Spanish Central: Translation of maddening

Nglish: Translation of maddening for Spanish Speakers

Comments on maddening

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


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
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!