mad·​den·​ing ˈmad-niŋ How to pronounce maddening (audio)
: tending to craze
: tending to infuriate
: tending to vex : irritating
ˈmad-niŋ-lē How to pronounce maddening (audio)

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 Twee, snarky, meta, manic, maddening and yet eventually poignant, the play is a moving target, its tone as hard to pin down as its facts. Jesse Green, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2023 The effect of this combination, a mash-up of urgency and complacency — imperturbable emergency? — is dreamlike and a bit maddening, perhaps like Cassandra shouting her warning to the gullible Trojans. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 Laundry may be tiring, but apron laundry is maddening. Emma Laperruque, Bon Appétit, 25 Oct. 2023 What’s maddening about the T-Swizzle fad is how corporate media promote it without question. Armond White, National Review, 18 Oct. 2023 The Padres showed a pulse down the stretch, but the inconsistency and lack of urgency earlier in the season made the late push more maddening than buoying. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2023 This, to me, is the most maddening aspect of the Trump era. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 31 July 2023 Matthew Perry, who died Saturday at age 54, was a poster boy for another kind of recovery, the maddening and often helpless slog of chronic relapse. Sarah Hepola, Rolling Stone, 31 Oct. 2023 Artists who paint themselves making art more often capture the dynamism of form giving, not the maddening but necessary struggle with time that precedes the making and finishing of an image. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maddening.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of maddening was circa 1743

Dictionary Entries Near maddening

Cite this Entry

“Maddening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: that irritates or angers
a maddening habit
maddeningly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on maddening

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