Definition of berserk in English:



  • Out of control with anger or excitement; wild or frenzied.

    ‘a man went berserk with an arsenal of guns’
    • ‘After the match a section of the spectators went berserk and pandemonium raged.’
    • ‘A drunken holidaymaker who went berserk on a plane during a fit of air rage was today beginning a two-year jail sentence.’
    • ‘The camera flashbulbs glowed, and the crowd which were waiting patiently for the celebrity from Australia to arrive, went berserk.’
    • ‘An airline flight was plunged into terror when a male passenger went berserk, attacking another passenger and the flight crew, it emerged last night.’
    • ‘‘I went berserk, argued, and flipped my shoe at the line judge,’ he writes.’
    • ‘At 6pm, the motorcycle taxi drivers went berserk and smashed the Toyota sedan as well as a police car parked in front of the police station.’
    • ‘As expected the crowd went berserk creating a wavelike effect, which looked awesome from where I was sitting.’
    • ‘My next door neighbours are driving me berserk.’
    • ‘A quiet street was left resembling a scrapyard after an irate motorist, apparently livid at not finding a parking spot outside his house, went berserk and smashed up all the cars on the street.’
    • ‘Time after time Cromwell's men charged the Whitecoats, so much so they became exhilarated and went berserk.’
    • ‘They went berserk, insane when the prices fell.’
    • ‘‘He said the guy, the gunman, just went berserk and started shooting everyone and he was unfortunately one of the ones who got shot in the legs,’ she said.’
    • ‘I was there at his first fashion show and people went berserk!’
    • ‘On the journey home, he went berserk and vandalised the railway carriage - ‘a mute expression of a grief and rage too terrible to bear’.’
    • ‘The media went berserk, talking about how the values like freedom of expression were being compromised by some fanatics.’
    • ‘These people however went berserk because we could not supply them with what they wanted.’
    • ‘On the way home the supporters, whose common sense has long been questioned, went berserk after they left the main stadium and robbed people on the street.’
    • ‘When Wayne hit the winning penalty everyone went berserk,’ he recalled.’
    • ‘Their attacker went berserk, butting and punching their car in a bustling street before turning his attention to the two men.’
    • ‘A policewoman told how she and her fellow officers were forced to use CS gas to control a man who went berserk in the town centre with a knife.’
    mad, crazy, insane, out of one's mind, hysterical, beside oneself, frenzied, crazed, demented, maniacal, manic, frantic, wound up, worked up, raving, wild
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Early 19th century (originally as a noun denoting an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild or uncontrolled ferocity): from Old Norse berserkr (noun), probably from birn-, bjorn (see bear) + serkr ‘coat’, but also possibly from berr ‘bare’ (i.e. without armour).