from The Century Dictionary.

  • See amuck.
  • To run amuck (which see).
  • Same as amuck (but a form nearer the original). See amuck.
  • noun An affray in which one or more persons (Malays) run amuck. See the quotation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb Out of control, especially when armed and dangerous
  • adverb In a frenzy of violence, or on a killing spree; berserk
  • noun One who runs amok; in Malay and Moro/Philippine culture, one who attempts to kill many others, especially expecting that they will be killed themselves.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb in a murderous frenzy
  • adjective frenzied as if possessed by a demon
  • adverb wildly; without self-control


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch, from Malay amuk ("to go on a killing spree").


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  • Frenzied. Not to be confused with amuck.

    December 9, 2006

  • Better spelled as amuk IMO. Amok is a mis-spelling even in Indonesian. There's an official language panel which has made a lot of rulings on standardisation of Bahasa Indonesia since independence. In many cases o lost out to u, as here, or for example datuk preferred to datok. Malaysia retains Dato because there it is a formal title. But Malaysia has 20 million people and Indonesia about 240 million, so in general Indonesian language policies are steamrolling through the region. Now amok is a loanword in English so it has no particular allegiance of faith to its origins. Certainly I have seen amok, but I have also seen amuk often in English texts. I'm not really a prescriptivist so you can make up your own minds. I feel uncomfortable writing amok because it neither looks nor sounds right to me.

    December 2, 2007