madness

noun
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

Synonyms

aberration, dementia, derangement, insanity, lunacy, mania, rage [archaic]

Antonyms

mind, saneness, sanity

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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

Alice traffics in spiders, poison, necrophilia, dystopian heebie-jeebies, hellfire, madness — the full spectrum of bad vibes. John Adamian, courant.com, "Shock-rock original Alice Cooper to play Foxwoods," 28 June 2019 Menlo madness: In 1989-90-91, John Paye coached Menlo School-Atherton’s girls basketball team to three state titles. Mitch Stephens, SFChronicle.com, "High school sports year in review: Titles, tragedy and tumbles," 7 June 2019 Their fans will be going absolutely nuts, from the pregame Jurassic Park madness right through the most important evening in franchise history. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Kawhi Leonard, Raptors seize Game 4, presenting a dark prospect for Warriors," 7 June 2019 If Friedenberg begins the play with refreshing pluck and sass for a part usually played for woebegone submission, her Ophelia goes jarringly musical theater in her own scene of madness. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Youth gives some new energy to Marin Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ but not enough," 2 June 2018 Her from-scratch madness continues at Tuttle’s homey café, where the chef turns out chicken pot pie, flakey from top to bottom. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "10 women who are absolutely killing it at Indianapolis restaurants," 7 Mar. 2018 The split-level space offers a nice respite from the madness that takes over these streets, and its eclectic knick-knacks and mismatched furniture add to the charm. Naren Young, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Bars in Barcelona," 3 Mar. 2018 Christian Dior's 2016 Haute Couture show seemed to offer a bit of a respite from the madness, however. Christina Oehler, ELLE Decor, "Christian Dior's Paris Fashion Week Venue Is The Most Calming Thing You'll See Today," 13 July 2016 And the fact that our writer was a woman willing to wander into the madness made the piece even bolder. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Weirdest Stories We've Ever Told," 4 June 2019

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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Learn More about madness

Dictionary Entries near madness

madman

mad money

madnep

madness

Madonna

Madonna lily

madoqua

Statistics for madness

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for madness

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

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More Definitions for madness

madness

noun
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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Comments on madness

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