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

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 Nevertheless, the message from this hunky-dory Finals is clear: Start bracing now for another year of the Warriors’ maddening tendencies. Ben Golliver,, "Warriors' Greatness May Annoy Some but They Aren't Going Anywhere," 9 June 2018 Fairfax Media / Getty Jack Dorsey runs one of the most valuable, maddening, delightful and frustrating technology companies in the world. Peter Kafka, Recode, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey talked to NYU’s Jay Rosen for an hour, on the record. Read and listen to the full interview here.," 14 Sep. 2018 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

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

Share maddening

Statistics for maddening

Last Updated

21 Mar 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).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!