madness

noun mad·ness \ ˈmad-nəs \
|Updated on: 25 Jun 2018

Definition of madness

1 : the quality or state of being mad: such as
a : a state of severe mental illness not used technically
  • … fortifications against an inner darkness, the threat of madness that crouched above him throughout his life.
  • —Robert F. Moss
b : behavior or thinking that is very foolish or dangerous : extreme folly
  • an idea that is pure/sheer madness
d : intense anger : rage
2 : any of several ailments of animals marked by frenzied behavior; specifically : rabies

Examples of madness in a Sentence

  1. He suffered a series of tragedies that nearly drove him to madness.

  2. Her friends told her the idea was pure madness, but she went through with it anyway.

  3. It was the height of madness for him to drive at such high speeds!

Recent Examples of madness from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'madness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of madness

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Medical Dictionary

madness

noun mad·ness \ ˈmad-nəs \

medical Definition of madness

1 : a severely disordered state of mind not used technically
2 : any of several ailments of animals marked by frenzied behavior; specifically : rabies


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