Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of a band of ancient Norse warriors legendary for their savagery and reckless frenzy in battle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wild warrior or champion of heathen times in Scandinavia.
  • noun Hence A person of extreme violence and fury.

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

  • noun One of a class of legendary Norse warriors who fought frenzied and shirtless regardless of wounds (possibly due to ingestion of psychotropic and hallucinatory drugs such as Fly Agaric Mushrooms).
  • noun One who fights as if frenzied, like a Berserker.

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

  • noun one of the ancient Norse warriors legendary for working themselves into a frenzy before a battle and fighting with reckless savagery and insane fury

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Old Norse berserkr : perhaps ber-, bear (akin to björn, bear, and bera, she-bear, from the bear-skins perhaps worn by the warriors ; see bher- in Indo-European roots) or berr, bare (from the fact that ancient European warriors often fought nude ; see bhoso- in Indo-European roots) + serkr, shirt.]

Examples

  • Battleprep is often referred to as a berserker state, but that is only partially correct.

    Concordance A Terran Empire concordance

  • Battleprep is often referred to as a berserker state, but that is only partially correct.

    Concordance A Terran Empire concordance

  • “A berserker is a mortal born with uncommon speed and strength,” she said.

    Dreams of a Dark Warrior

  • “A berserker is a mortal born with uncommon speed and strength,” she said.

    Dreams of a Dark Warrior

  • He could feel what the Nordic tribes called the berserker rage gaining control of him and he fought it off, not wanting to lose that control.

    The Eternal Mercenary

  • Hugh Jackman reprises the role that made him a superstar, as the fierce fighting machine who possesses amazing healing powers, adamantium claws, and a primal fury known as berserker rage.

    The IESB

  • Hugh Jackman reprises the role that made him a superstar, as the fierce fighting machine who possesses amazing healing powers, adamantium claws, and a primal fury known as berserker rage.

    DVD Times

  • Hugh Jackman reprises the role that made him a superstar, as the fierce fighting machine who possesses amazing healing powers, adamantium claws, and a primal fury known as berserker rage.

    The IESB

  • Hugh Jackman reprises the role that made him a superstar, as the fierce fighting machine who possesses amazing healing powers, adamantium claws, and a primal fury known as berserker rage.

    The IESB

  • The irony of Claudius as an urbane "berserker" may be picked up by the reader or teacher, but it ought to be handled very carefully before being dropped again.

    Idiom in Shakespeare

Comments

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  • Berserkers were Viking warriors that wore bear-skin shirts to look more intimidating—the berserkers were also trained to embody the spirit of an enraged bear, and summon up all their inner heat and rage to be more effective in combat. This process was facilitated by the ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

    This is part of why the vikings were so terrifying. You'd be minding your own business in some village in Northern Europe or along the English coast, and suddenly a long-boat full of angry dudes, dressed in skins, stoned out of their minds and convinced they were predatory animals, would show up and start hacking everything to pieces.

    February 16, 2014