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

  • n. The quality or condition of being insane. See Synonyms at insanity.
  • n. Great folly: It was sheer madness to attempt the drive during a blizzard.
  • n. Fury; rage.
  • n. Enthusiasm; excitement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being mad; insanity; mental disease.
  • n. rash folly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The condition of being mad; insanity; lunacy.
  • n. Frenzy; ungovernable rage.
  • n. Extreme folly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being mad or distracted; insanity; lunacy.
  • n. Headstrong passion or rashness; ungovernable fury or rage; extreme folly.
  • n. Synonyms Frenzy, Mania, etc. See insanity.

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

  • n. obsolete terms for legal insanity
  • n. a feeling of intense anger
  • n. the quality of being rash and foolish
  • n. an acute viral disease of the nervous system of warm-blooded animals (usually transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal); rabies is fatal if the virus reaches the brain
  • n. unrestrained excitement or enthusiasm


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • III. ii.439 (293,5) [to a living humour of madness] If this be the true reading we must by _living_ understand _lasting_, or _permanent_, but I cannot forbear to think that some antithesis was intended which is now lost; perhaps the passage stood thus, _I drove my suitor from a_ dying _humour of love to a living humour of madness_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • The whole thing - coupled with the normal end of the term madness - makes me want to jump in the car and drive until I hit a major metropolitan area that has luxurious hotels and fabulous restaurants.


  • He not only suffered a spectacular bout of what he called madness but also wrote an extraordinarily vivid account of it in his short novel The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, which he freely admitted was a thinly disguised account of what had happened to him on a 1954 voyage to Ceylon to restore his health.

    Henry’s Demons

  • This madness is accelerating and most recently the broader the political sweeps and swings, the larger the plant, the bigger the EU grant, the more irrational the H&S directives - so the faster we gather speed in our headlong surge toward the total annihilation of what used to look just right.

    Changing Down

  • There is method to my title madness *grin* Please bear with me.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • One theory behind this madness is the World Baseball Classic has thrown off pitchers 'spring routines, which would account for some dead arms, while others are working to build their stamina. - No time to panic yet

  • This one is appropriately named Noah's Ark. And like the biblical sanctuary, they enter in twos, escaping what they call the madness outside.

    CNN Transcript Jun 20, 2006

  • There are so many kinds of madness, so many ways in which the human brain may go wrong; and so often it happens that what we call madness is both reasonable and just.

    Back to God's Country and Other Stories

  • This form of inspiration is not clearly distinguishable from what we call madness; indeed the natives do not attempt to distinguish between the two things; they regard the madman and the prophet as both alike inspired by a ghost or spirit, and a man will sometimes pretend to be mad in order that he may get the reputation of being a prophet.

    The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) The Belief Among the Aborigines of Australia, the Torres Straits Islands, New Guinea and Melanesia

  • I am glad you've told me -- yes, everything -- and I'm glad that what you call your madness is over.

    The World Peril of 1910


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  • O rose beyond the reach of time and of the senses

    O kiss enveloped in the scarves of all the winds

    surprise me with one dream

    that my madness will recoil from you.

    - Mahmoud Darwish, 'Psalm 9'.

    September 16, 2008

  • "I see now the virtue in madness, for this country knows no laws nor any boundary

    I pity the poor shades confined to the Euclidean prison that is sanity

    All things are possible here and I am what madness has made me


    And complete

    And free at last."

    - Amadeus Arkham

    November 11, 2007