Definition of maddening 

1 : tending to craze

2a : tending to infuriate

b : tending to vex : irritating

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Other Words from maddening

maddeningly \-​lē \ 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

There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lana Del Rey Shuts Down Kanye West for Supporting Trump: "You Need an Intervention as Much as He Does"," 1 Oct. 2018 Nothing says the holidays like braving maddening airport crowds, eschewing prying questions at big family gatherings, or looming end-of-year work deadlines. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "5 Ways to De-Stress—And Stay Sane—During the Holidays," 19 Nov. 2018 VO Alice says that their maddening obsession started with that first roll of the dice. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Someone Died in the Riverdale Flashback Episode and I Need to Talk About It ASAP," 8 Nov. 2018 Why is this particular switcheroo so gratifying when so many of the show’s other shenanigans have been maddening? Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead just pulled its best switcheroo in years," 29 Oct. 2018 Jojo Whilden/Sundance Institute Infertility is painful and maddening for the couples forced to grapple with it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Private Life is a terrific, heartbreaking look at a marriage through the lens of infertility," 5 Oct. 2018 Best of all, the restaurant is located on the quiet West End, far from the maddening crowds on the other side of Commercial Street. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips From Boston," 9 Aug. 2018 Mars, the planet of action and determination, has been spinning backward since June 26, causing major professional slow-downs and maddening false starts. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Pisces Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 The maddening inconsistency of putting has in recent years spurred the growth of a relatively new kind of specialist role: putting coach. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Even for Jordan Spieth, Putting Is a Fickle Skill," 13 June 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.

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First Known Use of maddening

circa 1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for maddening

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for maddening

The first known use of maddening was circa 1743

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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.

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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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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