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


asylum, bedlam, institution

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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 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 Certainly the Trulieve dispensary tucked away among the warehouses and rental car lots across from the Miami airport seems to be operating like a normal and reasonably efficient business, not a Cheech-and-Chong madhouse. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "As marijuana dispensaries open their doors, Florida registers 5,400 new users per week," 1 June 2018 That would perhaps bode poorly for his chances in the 170,000-person madhouse that is Churchill Downs on Derby day. Childs Walker,, "Justify looks to prove talent trumps curses in Kentucky Derby," 4 May 2018 In the moments after a president gives the State of the Union, Statuary Hall becomes a carnivalesque madhouse. Nash Jenkins, Time, "'Tonight We Got Teleprompter Trump.' Democrats Seethe After State of the Union," 31 Jan. 2018 Weaving through game-day foot traffic in a madhouse of a parking lot, the family goes undetected. Robert Klemko,, "24 Hours With ... Julie and Zach Ertz," 19 Dec. 2017 Airport Attendant Estimated pay: About $11.50 per hour During the holidays, airports become overcrowded, stressful madhouses teeming with frustration, long lines, impatient travelers and, of course, screaming children. Andrew Lisa, ajc, "Best and worst side jobs for extra holiday cash," 16 Nov. 2017 German films of the 1920s were classic instances: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari takes place in a madhouse; in Variety murderous jealousy rages in a high-wire act. George Wead, Slate Magazine, "Filmnoia, or How Fear Permeated Cinema," 1 Sep. 2017 By the time owner Robert Kraft brought out the latest Lombardi Trophy and the fifth championship banner was unveiled the place was a madhouse. Jeff Jacobs,, "Jeff Jacobs: Patriots Season-Opening Stinker Gives Brady, Belichick Night To Forget," 8 Sep. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near madhouse






Madhya Bharat


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Time Traveler for madhouse

The first known use of madhouse was in 1649

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on madhouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with madhouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for madhouse

Spanish Central: Translation of madhouse

Nglish: Translation of madhouse for Spanish Speakers

Comments on madhouse

What made you want to look up madhouse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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