ma·​ni·​a·​cal | \ mə-ˈnī-ə-kəl How to pronounce maniacal (audio) \
variants: or less commonly maniac \ ˈmā-​nē-​ˌak How to pronounce maniac (audio) \

Definition of maniacal

1 : affected with or suggestive of madness maniacal laughter maniacal energy a maniacal killer
2 : characterized by ungovernable excitement or frenzy : frantic a maniacal mob maniacal fans

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Other Words from maniacal

maniacally \ mə-​ˈnī-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce maniacally (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for maniacal


balmy, barmy [chiefly British], bats, batty, bedlam, bonkers, brainsick, bughouse [slang], certifiable, crackbrained, cracked, crackers, crackpot, cranky [dialect], crazed, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, demented, deranged, fruity [slang], gaga, haywire, insane, kooky (also kookie), loco [slang], loony (also looney), loony tunes (or looney tunes), lunatic, mad, mental, meshuga (or meshugge), moonstruck, non compos mentis, nuts, nutty, psycho, psychotic, scatty [chiefly British], screwy, unbalanced, unhinged, unsound, wacko (also whacko), wacky (also whacky), wud [chiefly Scottish]


balanced, compos mentis, sane, sound, uncrazy

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Examples of maniacal in a Sentence

the movie's villain was a just a clichéd axe-wielding nutcase with a maniacal laugh

Recent Examples on the Web

Heather, who is either a maniacal genius or really that unaware, pushes Hannah Alabama to tell Colton that Caelyn is the Creature from the Blue Lagoon. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "An Ode to the Glasses of This Week's Episode of 'The Bachelor'," 22 Jan. 2019 The New Japan version of Jericho is an assassin who even looks more maniacal and is intent on leaving a wake of destruction in the ring. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: The Miz Has His Eyes on AJ Styles’s Title; Backlash Highlights a Major WWE Flaw," 9 May 2018 This was a few years ago—the web series, which also marries crisp, incisive writing with maniacal situations, launched in 2013—and the two were concerned about how their filmic alter egos would translate offscreen. Sally Singer, Vogue, "With Slash, a Fetish for Pop Culture Leads to the Stage," 8 Jan. 2019 Now, all Max needs is a step brother and a maniacal little sis! Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Josh Peck Just Became a Dad!," 2 Jan. 2019 This could not be more clear when the soldiers encircling The Man in Black shoot themselves and then El Lazo also off’s himself with a maniacal grin. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Everyone Is Freaking Out Over This Breaking Bad Actor's Surprising Westworld Cameo," 30 Apr. 2018 The whole situation surrounding the song is maniacal; a total juxtaposition to the song’s actual beautiful honesty about relationships. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ has come full circle as an extremely online event," 6 Nov. 2018 Enthusiasts, not as concerned with safety or lawsuits as Hasbro, modded their quirky-but-impractical blasters into better or more maniacal foam-flinging machines. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Nerf's Laser Tag Guns Are Cool, But They Lose What Makes Nerf Great," 17 July 2018 In her shtetl, only young boys were indulged in their maniacal pursuit of mastery that led them to spend every waking moment poring over the Talmud. WSJ, "Give No Triple Points for ‘Gender Differences’," 22 Nov. 2018

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

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for maniacal

The first known use of maniacal was in 1526

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More Definitions for maniacal


ma·​ni·​a·​cal | \ mə-ˈnī-ə-kəl How to pronounce maniacal (audio) \
variants: also maniac \ ˈmā-​nē-​ak How to pronounce maniac (audio) \

Medical Definition of maniacal

: manic

Other Words from maniacal

maniacally \ mə-​ˈnī-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce maniacally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on maniacal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maniacal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maniacal

Spanish Central: Translation of maniacal

Nglish: Translation of maniacal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maniacal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maniacal

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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