Word of the Day : November 26, 2010


adjective frih-NET-ik


: frenzied, frantic

Did You Know?

When life gets frenetic, things can seem absolutely insane -- at least that seems to be what folks in the Middle Ages thought. "Frenetik," in Middle English, meant "insane." When the word no longer denoted stark raving madness, it conjured up fanatical zealots. Today its seriousness has been downgraded to something more akin to "hectic." But if you trace "frenetic" back through Anglo-French and Latin, you'll find that it comes from Greek "phrenitis," a term describing an inflammation of the brain. "Phrēn," the Greek word for "mind," is a root you will recognize in "schizophrenic." As for "frenzied" and "frantic," they're not only synonyms of "frenetic" but relatives as well. "Frantic" comes from "frenetik," and "frenzied" traces back to "phrenitis."


Frenetic holiday shoppers swarmed the aisles in search of bargains.

"A mannered 80s-style TV debate, with no booing or clapping allowed, was accompanied by frenetic social media activity on Twitter and Facebook." -- From an article by Nicola Brittain in Computing, April 22, 2010

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