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

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for madness



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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!
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Recent Examples on the Web The Lions, of course, were a party to the madness twice already this year, blowing double-digit leads against the Bears and Green Bay Packers to start the season. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "NFL power rankings: Detroit Lions climb with Sunday's win; no lead is safe in today's NFL," 29 Sep. 2020 There was more madness than method to the Cowboys' 40-39 victory, a game Dallas never led until Zuerlein’s 46-yard field goal sailed through the uprights as time expired. David Moore, Dallas News, "Mike McCarthy wants Cowboys to build confidence off comeback win, but knows there’s much to clean up," 22 Sep. 2020 Plenty of ink has been spilled describing the methods (and madness) of managers Jurgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa. Jon Marthaler, Star Tribune, "With Premier League cast, new season brings a bit of everything," 11 Sep. 2020 Beyond the grief that colors their storylines, the show luxuriates in the madness, uncertainty, and the adrenaline of youth to devastating, daring effect. Jason Parham, Wired, "The Transgressive, Progressive Utopia of Summer Television," 3 Sep. 2020 All the madness, the rushing people, the apparent disorganization which always somehow turns into a clear take. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "From the archives: When ‘The Brady Bunch’ filmed at Kings Island," 21 Aug. 2020 From a distance of 60 years, the scheme seems a wildly expensive, ruthless madness. Alexandra Fuller, Travel + Leisure, "The Unexpected Lessons One Writer Learned From Returning To Her African Homeland," 21 Aug. 2020 Two other human tendencies contribute to the current madness—social proof and scarcity. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Perceived scarcity empties shelves," 20 Mar. 2020 In a game full of madness on special teams, why not? Dallas News, "Five takeaways from Texas' 63-56 comeback victory over Texas Tech, including Sam Ehlinger’s clutch drives," 27 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of madness

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for madness

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for madness

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Madness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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

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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