mad·​house | \ ˈmad-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce madhouse (audio) \

Definition of madhouse

1 informal + now often offensive : an institution providing care to mentally ill individuals
2 informal : a place of uproar or confusion The day of the game against the U.S.S.R., Blythe Arena was a madhouse. Thousands milled about outside, hoping to find a way in.— Walter Bingham

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Synonyms for madhouse


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Examples of madhouse in a Sentence

The stadium was a madhouse when the team won the championship. it was hard to believe that this place with the bright cheery walls was really a madhouse
Recent Examples on the Web And so the teams behind the Piatti family of Italian restaurants, the Spanish paella powerhouse Toro Kitchen + Bar and the modernist Mexican madhouse called Mixtli launched new restaurants high into mid-pandemic orbit. Mike Sutter,, "Three new San Antonio restaurants — Camp Outpost Co., Cuishe Cocina Mexicana and Kumo bringing special food, like insects, to S.A.," 12 Nov. 2020 Alabama bike shop owner Clint Jameson got one warning before COVID-19 turned his whole industry into a madhouse. al, "The way we roll: How COVID-19 has changed cycling," 10 July 2020 The first Wednesday in February was once a recruiting madhouse. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Winners and losers on the second college football national signing day," 5 Feb. 2020 The stage was an absolute madhouse with the 30-year-old retiree wildin' out as ringleader. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The Five Best Moments at Gronk Beach 2020, a Super Bowl LIV Miami Bacchanal," 2 Feb. 2020 This week, the Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport has been a madhouse with people fighting to get standby seats on flights out of the North African country. Natalia E. Contreras, Indianapolis Star, "'We feel abandoned': Hoosiers stuck in Morocco wait for help as other travelers go home," 19 Mar. 2020 Some European airports were a madhouse this week after President Trump called a halt to most travel from Europe in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "‘An earthquake’: Coronavirus crisis rocks higher education, forcing students and professors into uncharted territory," 14 Mar. 2020 This season, the Seahawks were 4-4 in their madhouse, 7-1 on the road. Scott Ostler,, "Myth: 49ers fans can lift their team to victory Saturday," 8 Jan. 2020 The Washington Nationals just went into Houston’s madhouse ballpark and beat Cys 1 and 1A, including last night’s embarrassing butt-kick. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: MLB Umpire Rob Drake's tweet shows what the hell is wrong with us," 24 Oct. 2019

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

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for madhouse

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The first known use of madhouse was in 1649

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Cite this Entry

“Madhouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of madhouse

old-fashioned + offensive : a hospital for people who are mentally ill
informal : a place where there is a lot of excitement or confusion


mad·​house | \ ˈmad-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce madhouse (audio) \

Kids Definition of madhouse

: a place or scene of complete confusion or noisy excitement

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Nglish: Translation of madhouse for Spanish Speakers

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