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

  • noun Inflammation of the diaphragm.
  • noun Encephalitis. No longer in scientific use.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medicine, an inflammation of the brain or its meninges, attended with acute fever and delirium.
  • noun Delirium; frenzy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) Inflammation of the brain, or of the meninges of the brain, attended with acute fever and delirium; -- called also cephalitis.
  • noun See Frenzy.

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

  • noun historical, medicine Madness, especially as caused by inflammation of the brain; meningitis.

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

  • noun inflammation of the brain usually caused by a virus; symptoms include headache and neck pain and drowsiness and nausea and fever (`phrenitis' is no longer in scientific use)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin phrenītis, from Ancient Greek φρενῖτις, from φρήν ("mind").


  • Respecting the movement of the hands I have these observations to make: When in acute fevers, pneumonia, phrenitis, or headache, the hands are waved before the face, hunting through empty space, as if gathering bits of straw, picking the nap from the coverlet, or tearing chaff from the wall — all such symptoms are bad and deadly.

    The Book Of Prognostics

  • Acute diseases are those which the ancients named pleurisy, pneumonia, phrenitis, lethargy, causus, and the other diseases allied to these, including the continual fevers.

    On Regimen In Acute Diseases

  • Persons laboring under phrenitis and causus were particularly disposed to coma; but also in all other great diseases which occurred along with fever.

    Of The Epidemics

  • It is probable that the weakness produced by the fever, the phrenitis, and affection of the hypochondrium caused death on the hundred and twentieth day.

    Of The Epidemics

  • The cases of ardent fever and phrenitis occurred early in spring after the cold set in, and great numbers were taken ill at that time, and these cases were attended with acute and fatal symptoms.

    Of The Epidemics

  • In those cases in which the phrenitis did not begin immediately, but about the third or fourth day, the disease was moderate at the commencement, but assumed a violent character about the seventh day.

    Of The Epidemics

  • It is probable that the death of the patient on the fifth day is to be attributed to a phrenitis, with unfavorable evacuations.

    Of The Epidemics

  • And many were attacked with impairment or loss of speech; at first, those in the commencement of phthisis, but also persons in ardent fever and in phrenitis.

    Of The Epidemics

  • The patient affected with phrenitis, having taken to bed on the first day, vomited largely of verdigris-green and thin matters; fever, accompanied with rigors, copious and continued sweats all over; heaviness of the head and neck, with pain; urine thin, substances floating in the urine small, scattered, did not subside; had copious dejections from the bowels; very delirious; no sleep.

    Of The Epidemics

  • About the equinox, and until the season of the Pleiades, and at the approach of winter, many ardent fevers set in; but great numbers at that season were seized with phrenitis, and many died; a few cases also occurred during the summer.

    Of The Epidemics


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