madness

noun

mad·​ness ˈmad-nəs How to pronounce madness (audio)
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

He suffered a series of tragedies that nearly drove him to madness. Her friends told her the idea was pure madness, but she went through with it anyway. It was the height of madness for him to drive at such high speeds!
Recent Examples on the Web Social media has always been a playground for our worst instincts, but here, the madness and misinformation goes largely uncontested because who else but a Trump fan and a columnist forced to write about this stuff would volunteer to wade through such a trash heap? Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 The button-mashing, the mask-switching—these are all, Salim says, representative of the madness people can experience. Megan Farokhmanesh, WIRED, 2 Apr. 2024 His temper and apparent madness was a big issue, as was the inexperience and limited reach of his nascent political organization. Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Puerto Rico as a whole feels like a safe haven from the madness of overnight fame. Frances Solá-Santiago, Rolling Stone, 13 Mar. 2024 The Fort Lauderdale mayor welcomed spring break with open arms before the annual March madness, and party seekers flocked to the city's beach in droves. Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 12 Mar. 2024 This is how the monument madness ends — with bureaucratic squabbles, the moral arguments, so-called, long since discarded. Neal B. Freeman, National Review, 27 Feb. 2024 That puts this team in particular in a precarious spot as the madness nears. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Mar. 2024 Toil and trouble boil over in this timeless tale of mayhem and madness, reimagined for today, where the lines between reality and the supernatural blur. David Catlin, The Enquirer, 6 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'madness.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of madness was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near madness

Cite this Entry

“Madness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/madness. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

madness

noun
mad·​ness ˈmad-nəs How to pronounce madness (audio)
1
: a severely disordered state of mind
not used technically
2
: any of several ailments of animals marked by frenzied behavior
specifically : rabies

More from Merriam-Webster on madness

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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