Definition of berserk in English:



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

    ‘a man went berserk with an arsenal of guns’
    • ‘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 was there at his first fashion show and people went berserk!’
    • ‘When Wayne hit the winning penalty everyone went berserk,’ he recalled.’
    • ‘Time after time Cromwell's men charged the Whitecoats, so much so they became exhilarated and went berserk.’
    • ‘A drunken holidaymaker who went berserk on a plane during a fit of air rage was today beginning a two-year jail sentence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They went berserk, insane when the prices fell.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The camera flashbulbs glowed, and the crowd which were waiting patiently for the celebrity from Australia to arrive, went berserk.’
    • ‘These people however went berserk because we could not supply them with what they wanted.’
    • ‘As expected the crowd went berserk creating a wavelike effect, which looked awesome from where I was sitting.’
    • ‘The media went berserk, talking about how the values like freedom of expression were being compromised by some fanatics.’
    • ‘After the match a section of the spectators went berserk and pandemonium raged.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My next door neighbours are driving me berserk.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘On the journey home, he went berserk and vandalised the railway carriage - ‘a mute expression of a grief and rage too terrible to bear’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their attacker went berserk, butting and punching their car in a bustling street before turning his attention to the two men.’
    • ‘‘I went berserk, argued, and flipped my shoe at the line judge,’ he writes.’
    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).