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nym·​pho·​ma·​ni·​ac ˌnim(p)-fə-ˈmā-nē-ˌak How to pronounce nymphomaniac (audio)
plural nymphomaniacs
: one affected by nymphomania : a female who has an excessive desire for sexual activity
A female cat can be a nymphomaniac, a problem brought about by excessive hormone production.Warren Eckstein
He bores the pants off you and she seems to be some kind of nymphomaniac—kept playing footsie with me in the restaurant.David Lodge


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variants or nymphomaniacal
: of, affected with, or characterized by nymphomania
The patriarch of the family asks for the private eye's help after his nymphomaniac daughter becomes involved in blackmail and murder.Mike Quinn
nymphomaniacal tendencies

Examples of nymphomaniac in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
No one would celebrate an epidemic of cannibalistic zombies or the takeover of Montreal by a gang of nymphomaniacs. Becca Rothfeld, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 One day, he is plucked from the slush pile by one of the company’s founders, Warren Landry (the sole Landry at Landry, Landry and Bartlett, despite the company’s name), to edit a book about Ethel Rosenberg, which depicts her as a nymphomaniac delighted to be spying for the Russians. New York Times, 28 June 2021 The 2006 Paramount Pictures film about a bluesman and a nymphomaniac became a hit on the service in 2015. Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg.com, 10 Feb. 2023
Her character imposing a maritime eulogy for her nymphomaniac mother on a group of strangers proved to be one of several darkly comedic scenes that helped win Coolidge an Emmy, a Critics Choice Award, a SAG Award and a Golden Globe. Mikey O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nymphomaniac.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



nymph + -o- + maniac entry 1, after nymphomania


nymphomaniac from nymph + -o- + maniac "mad, insane" (borrowed from Middle French maniaque "mad, frenzied" and its source, Medieval Latin maniacus), after nymphomania; nymphomaniacal from nymphomaniac, adjective + -al entry 1 — more at maniac entry 1

First Known Use


1828, in the meaning defined above


1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nymphomaniac was in 1828

Dictionary Entries Near nymphomaniac

Cite this Entry

“Nymphomaniac.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nymphomaniac. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun
nym·​pho·​ma·​ni·​ac -nē-ˌak How to pronounce nymphomaniac (audio)
: one affected with nymphomania


2 of 2 adjective
variants or nymphomaniacal
: of, affected with, or characterized by nymphomania
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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