Definitions

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

  • adj. Highly excited with strong emotion or frustration; frenzied: frantic with worry.
  • adj. Characterized by rapid and disordered or nervous activity: made a frantic last-minute search for the lost key.
  • adj. Archaic Mad; insane.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Insane, mentally unstable.
  • adj. In a state of panic, worry, frenzy or rush.
  • adj. Extremely energetic

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Mad; raving; furious; violent; wild and disorderly; distracted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Mad; raving; wild; distracted: as, frantic with fear or grief.
  • Characterized by violence and mental disorder; springing from madness or distraction.
  • Synonyms Distracted, infuriate, frenzied, raging.
  • n. A frenzied person; a madman.
  • To run about frantically.

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

  • adj. excessively agitated; distraught with fear or other violent emotion
  • adj. marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion

Etymologies

Middle English frantik, from Old French frenetique, from Latin phrenēticus; see frenetic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin freneticus, Latin phreneticus or phreniticus, from Ancient Greek *φενητικός (phentikos), correctly *φρενιτικός (phrenitikos, “mad, suffering from inflammation of the brain”), from φρενῖτις (phrenitis, "inflammation of the brain"), from φρήν (phrēn, "the brain"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word frantic has appeared in 354 New York Times articles in the past year, including on Nov. 14 in "For a Homeless Child, a Long Ride to 4th Grade" by Emily Canal:

    NYT > Home Page

  • Holly figured it was Mia who else would? and there she was, her expression frantic, shivering in the morning chill in just a thin light blue hoodie and jeans.

    The Love Goddess’ Cooking School

  • Learn more about the word "frantic" and see usage examples across a range of subjects on the Vocabulary.com dictionary.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Alpha taster shouts [in frantic Shatner-esque desperation]:

    What's in a score? Audio from a tasting with Robert Parker | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • After 18 months of sparring between the Tories and BBC executives over the level of the licence fee, the future funding of the corporation has been hammered out in frantic negotiations in little over three days, with the broadcaster coming off decidedly second best.

    BBC licence fee frozen at £145.50 for six years

  • On either side of the steamer, rows of scows received the flying cargo, and on each of these scows a sweating mob of men charged the descending slings and heaved bales and boxes about in frantic search.

    CHAPTER I

  • There would be a fleeting glimpse of the three men flinging water in frantic haste, when she would topple over and fall into the yawning valley, bow down and showing her full inside length to the stern upreared almost directly above the bow.

    Chapter 17

  • But things look different inside India, where technology companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars in frantic attempts to ensure that their profit-making machine keeps producing.

    India's Achilles Heel, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • As a couple of employees are filing into one of the elevators, another man rushes in frantic and scared out of his mind.

    OcTuber Fest: "Elevated"

  • Back on the dry land she shook like a wet rat and went running in frantic circles.

    The Deadly Sins of Dog Training?

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