ma·​ni·​ac | \ ˈmā-nē-ˌak How to pronounce maniac (audio) \

Definition of maniac

2 : a person characterized by an inordinate or ungovernable enthusiasm for something

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Examples of maniac in a Sentence

He's a complete maniac when he's playing football. they should permanently put away the maniac who is responsible for these kidnappings

Recent Examples on the Web

For every laughable toy-cum-homicidal maniac (see: The Boy) there is probably at least one plastic predator whose face has kept you up at night. Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED, "Horror for Dummies: The 9 Best Killer Doll Movies to Stream Right Now," 28 June 2019 On July 3, feed your inner sports maniac at the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer semifinal match at Nissan Stadium. Dr Pepper, USA TODAY, "Make this 4th of July the most memorable by celebrating in Music City!," 25 June 2019 Early mornings lead into back-to-back shows and running around like a maniac, which then linger into long nights. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Watch Taylor Hill’s New York Fashion Week Experience, Which Included Pizza Delivery and a Backbend on the Runway," 19 Feb. 2019 But a group of diehards, led by a shirtless Mid-City maniac, gathered at an outdoor piano and summoned up a song meant to turn the tide. Doug Maccash,, "Watch Parkview Tavern fans sing "Hey Vikings, leave our Saints alone ... "," 15 Jan. 2018 As the mutual retribution continues, though, and a fatality ensues, Dana comes to perceive her new friend as a homicidal maniac with vindictive plans for everyone from Dana’s ex-writing partner to Dana herself. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: The Trials of an Ethical Thief," 11 Jan. 2019 At halftime, a group of Mid-City maniacs gathered at a piano at the Parkview Tavern, to sing a few songs meant to encourage the Saints to come back from their 17-point deficit. Doug Maccash,, "Saints fever seized fans during Vikings showdown," 14 Jan. 2018 To be sure, Joseph Kesselring’s 1941 black comedy about a family of maniacs, homicidal and otherwise, was a huge Broadway hit that was subsequently turned into a movie starring Cary Grant, then performed four times on network TV. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "Kid Tested, Mother Approved," 12 Sep. 2018 Which is just to say that, in the aggregate, Trump is far from a maniac who the Republican establishment is restraining. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maniac.' 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 maniac

circa 1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maniac

Late Latin maniacus maniacal, from Greek maniakos, from mania

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Dictionary Entries near maniac







manic depression

Statistics for maniac

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for maniac

The first known use of maniac was circa 1763

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More Definitions for maniac



English Language Learners Definition of maniac

: someone who is violent and mentally ill
informal : a person who behaves in a very wild way
informal : a person who is extremely enthusiastic about something


ma·​ni·​ac | \ ˈmā-nē-ˌak How to pronounce maniac (audio) \

Kids Definition of maniac

1 : a person who is or behaves as if insane
2 : a person who is extremely enthusiastic about something

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More from Merriam-Webster on maniac

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maniac

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maniac

Spanish Central: Translation of maniac

Nglish: Translation of maniac for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maniac for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maniac

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characterized by aphorism

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