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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 In Brazil — which still hasn’t quite gotten over Germany’s 7-1 humiliation of the home team during the 2014 World Cup semifinals — several maniacs staged a mock funeral for Germany, parading down a street with caskets draped in the German flag. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 16 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Knockout Stage," 29 June 2018 The first and most important one is sticking the ball in the net and celebrating like a maniac. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Harry Kane: English Soccer’s Clark Kent," 18 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about maniac

Dictionary Entries near maniac







manic depression

Statistics for maniac

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maniac

The first known use of maniac was circa 1763

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up maniac? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!