Definition of lunacy in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The state of being a lunatic; insanity (not in technical use)

    ‘it has been suggested that originality demands a degree of lunacy’
    • ‘I prize my mental instability and nurture the lunacy which manifests itself within my cranium.’
    • ‘What must have contributed to their sudden lunacy?’
    • ‘Either he wanted to make me delirious with jealousy over her vile decadence or simply get my certified opinion concerning her degree of lunacy.’
    • ‘Indeed, due to her ellipsis, instead of remarking on Lisa's masochistic lunacy, we see her faith justified, because this is her proof of her love.’
    • ‘That laugh, that insane laugh, that maniacal smirk as the madwoman's yellow eyes glinted with lunacy.’
    • ‘He never exhibited any symptoms of lunacy that I could detect.’
    • ‘As with the fool in King Lear, there is wisdom in his lunacy.’
    • ‘For one whose obsession has been certifiable by the commissioners of lunacy, here surely instead was proof of pure sanity.’
    • ‘Or maybe he would prefer something along the lines of suicidal confessions of a mind bordering on death and raving lunacy.’
    • ‘She rises like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of her lunacy to become the first woman psychoanalyst in Switzerland.’
    • ‘This goes beyond mere bullying and descends into paranoid - and hypocritical - lunacy.’
    • ‘If by this point you are not already delirious, fear not, even more jolly japes and lunacy are to follow.’
    • ‘It does not supply the answer in the situation of an infant, a person under lunacy or overseas.’
    • ‘The sanest men have certain moments of unexplained lunacy.’
    • ‘Yes, I was on the verge of lunacy, but it was only temporary.’
    insanity, madness, mental illness, derangement, dementia, dementedness, insaneness, loss of reason, unsoundness of mind, mental instability, mania, frenzy, psychosis
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Extreme folly or eccentricity.
      ‘such an economic policy would be sheer lunacy’
      • ‘Even those who never believed that the lunacies of the seventies and early eighties had been entirely eradicated - evidence to the contrary has been accumulating for several years - did not predict the recent chain reaction of violence.’
      • ‘Of course, someone had to file a lawsuit, which serves only to elevate this already overblown subject to new heights of lunacy.’
      • ‘Writing from the perspective of an intelligent though lonely and bewildered child, he uses incisive humour to expose the lunacies, vagaries and hypocrisies of traditional and alternative belief systems.’
      • ‘The government has also tried to pass some horrendous law to justify their original lunacy, but it was rejected, in case people haven't noticed.’
      • ‘Perhaps, if his presence is counter-productive in the squad, talk of him being forced out shouldn't be so readily dismissed as outright lunacy.’
      • ‘Do you begin to see the total lunacy of letting these people have any say over school science curricula?’
      • ‘They should deal with operational matters only, and not start to get into the madness and lunacy of policy setting.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the play was ‘a crude attempt to satirize the lunacies of Hollywood’ and lasted fewer than fifty performances.’
      • ‘Competing with Asian and European automakers by building American versions of what the opposition already offers is lunacy.’
      • ‘It's an idealistic and moral endeavour, which apparently means that it's perceived as lunacy by some.’
      • ‘This might sound like a contradiction of terms or simply lunacy.’
      • ‘The present situation is one of sheer greed and lunacy.’
      • ‘Obviously, the title of ‘best restaurant in the world’ is subjective to the point of lunacy.’
      • ‘Your first thought might be to regard this as utter lunacy.’
      • ‘Because the lunacy of the current course of action is so extreme, the need for intimidating propaganda is concomitantly high.’
      • ‘The American people are powerless to stop any of this lunacy.’
      • ‘I always thought it was sheer lunacy, but have recently been beginning to question that assumption.’
      • ‘Thus, while we casually mock the lunacies of the past, some people, notably mainstream journalists, nod soberly at the lunacies of the present.’
      • ‘A couple weeks ago, I was chided by a couple of readers for only attacking rightwing lunacy and leaving leftwing lunacy alone.’
      • ‘This little masterpiece has its lunacies (why is it necessary for the memories to be restaged and turned into film clips?) and its limitations.’
      folly, foolishness, foolhardiness, stupidity, idiocy, imbecility, irrationality, illogicality, senselessness, nonsense, absurdity, absurdness, madness, insanity
      View synonyms


Mid 16th century (originally referring to insanity of an intermittent kind attributed to changes of the moon): from lunatic + -acy.