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 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 And with all the traffic and security blockades, New Yorkers and tourists ‎too may feel no one can get off the island during this madhouse week. Richard Roth, CNN, "More than 90 heads of state are descending on New York City. Here's what to watch for," 22 Sep. 2019 In January of this year, at the annual multithousand-square-foot madhouse of consumer electronics in Las Vegas, manufacturers started slipping a new claim into their spec sheets: Supports Wi-Fi 6. Wired, "Wi-Fi 6 Will Be Here Soon. What Is It?," 29 Aug. 2019 Williamson’s presence turned these tiny gyms into madhouses packed both by fans who wanted to catch a glimpse and a who’s who of college coaches. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "There Has Never Been a Basketball Player Like Duke’s Zion Williamson," 5 Nov. 2018 Grand Teton National Park and Denali National Park, both coveted climbing destinations, use this kind of process to keep their mountains from becoming madhouses. Mark Jenkins, Outside Online, "How to Fix Everest," 20 June 2019 Ruth Ann served nearly three years in the madhouse at Kankakee and, released to the care of family, lived uneventfully on Chicago’s North Side, turning away all queries till her death in 2012. Benjamin Taylor, Harper's magazine, "Exit Ghost," 10 Mar. 2019 This success garnered him an opportunity to replace Raymond Domenech as overseer of the madhouse that was the French national team in 2010., "Why Laurent Blanc is the Worst Possible Managerial Choice for Chelsea in 2018," 8 June 2018

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of madhouse was in 1649

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Statistics for madhouse

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Madhouse.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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How to pronounce madhouse (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on madhouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for madhouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with madhouse

Spanish Central: Translation of madhouse

Nglish: Translation of madhouse for Spanish Speakers

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