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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from maniacal

maniacally \ mə-​ˈnī-​ə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce maniacally (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 Ledger and Phoenix delved into the character’s maniacal sadism to deliver particularly unnerving performances. Washington Post, "‘Joker,’ explained: How the movie went from divisive debut to Oscars darling," 13 Jan. 2020 What the song does convey, unambiguously, is a kind of maniacal amplitude. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Misfit Awesomeness of Neil Peart and Rush," 11 Jan. 2020 Just as the Fitbit fostered a maniacal focus on steps taken and calories burned, a social Fitbit would warn against excessive insularity, or remind us to bridge out into new territory. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "A pioneer of wearable technology explains how it can connect instead of divide us," 17 Dec. 2019 For example, here are three: ♦ Will Cristobal’s unrelenting, maniacal act eventually wear on his players and assistants? oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks football in a race to matter in more than a Rose Bowl way," 29 Dec. 2019 One can almost hear the maniacal laughing of tycoons echo on the vaulted ceilings. Joshua David Stein, Town & Country, "Hey Senator Warren, Wine Caves Aren't Just for Corrupt Oligarchs," 20 Dec. 2019 Rodriguez has always been a maniacal preparer, sometimes to his own detriment. Ben Reiter,, "'What's a Scarlet Letter?' The Improbable Reinvention of A-Rod," 25 June 2019 Pattinson and Dafoe dig into their roles, all right, with both actors crazily, mesmerizingly toggling from workaday to recriminating to maniacal and on and on., "Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in “The Lighthouse.”," 17 Oct. 2019 On-screen laughs, both maniacal and otherwise, were bound to be plentiful in a movie about Hollywood’s favorite Batman villain. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "Todd Phillips injects ‘Joker’ with dark humor. But what are we laughing at?," 6 Oct. 2019

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for maniacal

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maniacal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Other Words from maniacal

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!