ma·​ni·​a·​cal | \ mə-ˈnī-ə-kəl \
variants: or less commonly maniac \ ˈmā-​nē-​ˌak \

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 \ 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

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 And when the witches arrive, everyone but Langdon and his maniacal nanny robot (Kathy Bates) are killed off or forgotten. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "American Horror Story: Apocalypse was somehow both absolutely nuts and largely forgettable," 18 Nov. 2018 Smith, who won a promotion for his loyalty to Heinrich Himmler (played with maniacal glee by Kenneth Tigar), is seen as a threat to American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell (David Furr), the highest-ranking Nazi in North America. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 3 of The Man in the High Castle doubles down on science fiction — and stumbles," 27 Sep. 2018 The discovery of all 12 boys alive brought with it joy and a maniacal focus on rescue. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "All 12 Thai Boys Rescued From Cave," 10 July 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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Statistics for maniacal

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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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 \
variants: also maniac \ ˈmā-​nē-​ak \

Medical Definition of maniacal

: manic

Other Words from maniacal

maniacally \ mə-​ˈnī-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

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a complex dispute or argument

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