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

Other Words from maniacal

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for maniacal



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 No Way Home, however, has a maniacal sense of glee that not even prior Marvel movies possessed. David Sims, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2021 The maniacal Bob Ryan remembers being a student at Boston College and taking the T to the Garden for an NBA doubleheader on Friday, Dec. 1, 1967. Dan Shaughnessy,, 26 Nov. 2021 Yet making cheese from raw milk demands maniacal oversight and care. Joshua Levine, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Nov. 2021 Her dedication to maintaining the line between clean and dirty clothes is maniacal. Cameron Smith |, al, 13 Nov. 2021 As an ever-lonely and calculating Misty, Christina Ricci toes the line of maniacal without crossing over into full camp as could easily be the case. Caroline Framke, Variety, 12 Nov. 2021 The crowd contained a faction of maniacal dissenters: Oath Keepers, Texas Freedom Force, Proud Boys, and Three Percenters. John Lithgow, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 With all due respect to Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether, Anne Hathaway, Lili Simmons, and Camren Bicondova, Pfeiffer brought a maniacal edge to the character that’s never been topped. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 2 Nov. 2021 What makes Haskins special is the courage to hurl his body into defenders with a verve approaching maniacal, especially in short-yardage situations. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 24 Oct. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of maniacal

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About maniacal

Time Traveler for maniacal

Time Traveler

The first known use of maniacal was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near maniacal




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for maniacal

Last Updated

27 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maniacal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 maniacal (audio) \

Medical Definition of maniacal

: manic

Other Words from maniacal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on maniacal

Nglish: Translation of maniacal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maniacal for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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