Main definitions of mad in English

: mad1MAD2MAD3

mad1

adjective

  • 1British Mentally ill; insane.

    ‘he felt as if he were going mad’
    • ‘It's kind of nutty, kind of mad and that's exactly the kind of art that we like.’
    • ‘He described him as completely mad, crazy, off the wall.’
    • ‘Charlie was an orphan and had been raised by an old widower man, Mr Smith, who many respected, but everyone thought was slightly mad.’
    • ‘But Desdemona, she was nothing but insane, mad, crazy, and that was the thing she passed on.’
    • ‘Posterity has called her mad: a schizophrenic.’
    • ‘Their country was like a man who was losing a great battle, and in his mad and insane mind he was forced to do rash things.’
    • ‘In The Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys drew a haunting portrait of the young Mrs Rochester before she went mad and ended her days in the attic in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.’
    • ‘There was a guy in there clearly barking mad, swearing and being odd.’
    • ‘It does not mean that he is in a psychotic state or raving mad, but it indicates your finding in a legal way.’
    • ‘‘She went mad and started throwing stock around the shop,’ said Mr Brown, who has run the family business for 16 years.’
    • ‘It was disturbing to think him mad because he seemed so… normal.’
    • ‘I've disappeared countless times when I thought too many people thought I was mad or bad or loony.’
    • ‘Would I go slowly mad, develop dementia and suffer a painful, lingering death?’
    • ‘He looked wet through and filthy at the same time, totally dishevelled, more like the mad scientist than the nutty professor.’
    • ‘The household is mad, disturbed, yet idyllic and peaceful.’
    • ‘Why should they be interested in my mad ravings?’
    • ‘The narrator is convinced someone is haunting him, taking possession of his mind, making him think mad thoughts.’
    • ‘That is why they are declared schizophrenic - mad folk, in common parlance.’
    • ‘Swift was as disgusted by the moral disease of human gluttony as he was by its lazy and revolting cures, so much so that he became obsessed with scatological matters and eventually went mad.’
    • ‘You have to be mad, you have to be insane, to despair in that way.’
    insane, mentally ill, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, sick in the head, not together, crazy, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, psychotic, psychopathic, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare, away with the fairies, foaming at the mouth
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of behaviour or an idea) extremely foolish; not sensible.
      ‘Antony's mother told him he was mad to be leaving Dublin’
      • ‘In the Sixties, there was this mad idea that we could absorb all our daily needs in little pills, the kind of things that astronauts took with them.’
      • ‘The trek, that will take approximately seven days to complete, was the result of a mad idea on New Year's Eve.’
      • ‘The Filth is a gorgeously well-appointed book, boasting ultramodern design, mad ideas on every page and some of the most eye-poppingly tasty art this side of the Tate.’
      • ‘One might think, based on the static state of our bird list, that the Core Team has abandoned the mad quest to see all of the world's birds.’
      • ‘Back in the 1950s, John Stewart, a Glasgow-born theatre director, had a mad idea which had all the hallmarks of disaster about it.’
      • ‘There's no secret code or literary illusion, there's just his own mad thoughts on a page.’
      • ‘You'd have to be totally mad to think you could go through that gate in safety.’
      • ‘Alien abductions, for example, was a mad belief Britons were far too sophisticated to embrace.’
      • ‘"I enjoy organising events but this time we've gone really mad.’
      • ‘He was too young to understand Akhenaten's mad ideas; many adults had problems comprehending them.’
      • ‘It was a completely mad idea, but in a fit of complete and unquestioned insanity I chose to take a swing at it despite my legitimate concerns.’
      • ‘When I visited her, I saw notebooks full of her mad ideas.’
      • ‘Fortunately, we're the only two people stupid enough to be out at that time in the morning and no one can witness the mad behaviour that is taking place in the bay.’
      • ‘The future scenario gives him carte blanche to run riot with all these mad ideas.’
      • ‘Maybe a safety harness for your pet isn't such a barking mad idea after all.’
      • ‘As a result, without the discipline that would have come with attempting to appeal to an audience, I gave free rein to any mad idea which popped into my head.’
      • ‘The reader isn't expected to take anything on faith or invest belief in any seemingly mad ideas, which is probably just the right tone for this sort of introductory book.’
      • ‘But I liked the fact that its writer and director, Debbie Isitt, is very young, with lots of mad ideas and was up for improvisation.’
      • ‘Big cities like London, Paris and New York are all mad ideas to host events of this size.’
      • ‘A blind pilot is not as mad an idea as it sounds, Hilton-Barber explains.’
      foolish, insane, stupid, lunatic, foolhardy, idiotic, irrational, unreasonable, illogical, zany, senseless, nonsensical, absurd, impractical, silly, inane, asinine, ludicrous, wild, unwise, imprudent, preposterous
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 In a frenzied mental or physical state.
      ‘she pictured loved ones mad with anxiety about her’
      ‘it was a mad dash to get ready’
      • ‘It was the longest trip to Versailles ever and I was mad with boredom, for I was burning with excitement to tell Jacqui about a book I read.’
      • ‘Matt was clearly mad with grief, his words laced with a new desperation and an unwelcome spite.’
      • ‘Does this mad rush to abandon our natural sleep cycle to work around the clock really make sense?’
      • ‘Erial stuck to pure manners and decorum, knowing that any sign of affection to any member of the regiment might drive Dan mad with jealousy or grief.’
      • ‘The scene made him go mad with jealousy, leading to a violent argument with his wife.’
      • ‘His eyes gleamed in the dark round face, mad with despair.’
      • ‘There was a mad intensity to everything, it was like some frenetic nightmare, every time I thought of Aykan and his plans and conspiracies.’
      • ‘He was being driven mad with all of this waiting.’
      • ‘The dance started at seven so there was a mad scramble to get ready.’
      • ‘There is a fine line between taking the stance of Ebenezer Scrooge, skimping on our generosity to friends and relatives, and going absolutely mad with the plastic.’
      • ‘Studying at the art institute, located in the center of the city, Brook looked forward to the mad rush and exciting life of the city.’
      • ‘In one story, a professor of classics is nearly driven mad with insomnia, which he cures by attending a faculty meeting.’
      • ‘I said to the students, and, mad with anxiety, I took the elevator down, dashed out into the street, crossed on the run, and went into Adriana's house.’
      • ‘Life is mad with rushing from place to place and job to job.’
      • ‘She hated the place, and was mad with desire to leave it.’
      • ‘In a mad dash of effort, Noman climbed over the board like lightning.’
      • ‘In fact there are some numbers in the Ten operations that drive Kerry Packer mad with envy, and are driving the John Alexander approach to income maximisation at Nine.’
      • ‘Everyone in the paper ticket line makes a mad dash back to the kiosks.’
      • ‘Lela looked up, trying to hide her amusement as they saw Stasia, obviously driven mad with jealousy and defeat, throwing random sculptures at the two.’
      • ‘But some of the considerations are artistic and need to be faced by the writer, if he is not to be driven mad with frustration and bitter with disappointment.’
      overwrought, emotional, uncontrolled, uncontrollable, out of control, unrestrained, unrestrainable, frenzied, in a frenzy, frantic, wild, feverish
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (of a dog) rabid.
      • ‘I don't have a nail gun but I've used one from a local shop to knock together a gate and a retaining wall that didn't restrain Holly the mad dog.’
      • ‘Then the restrained growl of a mad dog found its way past her curled lips, rasping at the stranger before her who hadn't flinched.’
      • ‘This is the ‘furious’ form of rabies, the kind traditionally associated with mad dogs.’
      • ‘The only way you get anywhere with a mad dog is to confront it head-on.’
      • ‘What shall I do when a mad dog attacks an innocent child?’
      • ‘And all the while I'm thinking, this dog is mad, and blind.’
      • ‘Do we not kill mad dogs when they become dangerous for our life?’
      • ‘The sports establishment, of course, is attacking him like a pack of mad dogs.’
      rabies-infected, foaming at the mouth, hydrophobic
      View synonyms
  • 2informal Very enthusiastic about someone or something.

    ‘he's mad about football’
    in combination ‘another myth is that Scorpios are sex-mad’
    • ‘In fact the girls are so mad about the boys that every album, poster and article ever produced about the lads takes pride of place in the girl's homes.’
    • ‘Dad is mad about sport, particularly baseball, and not only did he become the coach for our town's youth softball team, he also coached the freshman girls' team at my high school.’
    • ‘I'm mad about water, and we overlooked the Tamar, which is breathtaking.’
    • ‘Julian is so mad about vacs that he volunteers to clean up at his after-school club and always keeps the carpets spick and span at home.’
    • ‘Luke, 11, was mad about trains and Harry Potter, and Aimee, 13, loved fairies.’
    • ‘Whichever way you look at it, the Gold Coast dairy farmer is mad about goats.’
    • ‘Chimney sweep Steve Howard is so mad about vintage vehicles he has filled his driveway with fire engines - and even wants to buy his own plane.’
    • ‘He was mad about yoga and was soon lured into dancing, although he felt that he was ‘funny-looking’.’
    • ‘Peter was extremely proud of his children and very happy with Kayce, who took care of him, who protected him, who was just mad about him.’
    • ‘They are both mad about the season's bright colours as well as the sophisticated button, beaded and flower detail to be found everywhere.’
    • ‘We've always been mad about each other, always.’
    • ‘Jack, who is mad about trains, Thomas The Tank Engine and Bob The Builder, is due to start school in September.’
    • ‘Mrs Heard was inspired to create the Tractor Ted films when her own children, then aged four, three and one, were mad about farm animals and machinery, but unhappy with the animated videos on offer.’
    • ‘Aside from Timothy, all of his friends were raving mad about her.’
    • ‘Although he was mad about films, he didn't neglect studies.’
    • ‘She knows that I am hooked on football, mad about it.’
    • ‘When it comes to sports, India is mad about cricket.’
    • ‘With every sigh, I become more mad about you, more lost without you.’
    • ‘And apparently she is crazy mad head over heels in love with me.’
    • ‘The truth is I can't leave New York because I'm mad about it, hopelessly in love with this place in a way that is usually reserved for a person.’
    enthusiastic, passionate, impassioned, keen on
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1British Very exciting.
      • ‘The rest of the class seemed to get the idea soon enough and before long the group was chattering in mad excitement.’
      • ‘In fact once he deciphers the code, he runs to his brother in a mad fit of excitement.’
      • ‘The Siamese leaped around in mad excitement, his tail now swishing like a badly excited dog.’
      • ‘His production's got people mad excited, with everyone wanting a piece of the pie.’
      • ‘The finale to our visit came the very next evening when we were taken on a VIP visit to the Regency Casino for a mad night of wild abandon at the slot machines.’
      • ‘I had a sudden uncontrollable desire to be in some mad city on the other side of the world again.’
      • ‘In the audience it was both a mad mayhem of frenetic bouncing and a sea of staring faces intrigued and in awe.’
      unrestrained, uncontrolled, uninhibited, wild, abandoned, overpowering, overwhelming, excited, frenzied, frantic, frenetic, ebullient, energetic, boisterous
      View synonyms
  • 3informal Very angry.

    ‘don't be mad at me’
    • ‘Her claim is that the judgments you make of someone you're mad at, hurt by, or angry with, invariably apply to yourself.’
    • ‘The Hos were always mad at somebody, and somebody was always furious with the Hos.’
    • ‘I got so mad with my older brother just then, and I decided myself, that I would tell Mama and Papa about it that night.’
    • ‘Michelle was glaring at me… I had no idea why she was mad at me.’
    • ‘Now don't be mad with me, because it's not entirely my fault that this is happening.’
    • ‘His voice sounded more than just confused, it was tired and irritated too, mad at the world.’
    • ‘When I yell to get their attention, they get mad at me.’
    • ‘I hope you're not totally mad with me for snapping at you the past few days, but I guess you aren't because you still came through when I needed a shoulder to cry on.’
    • ‘A few weeks back I was really, really mad about not being able to vote in the upcoming presidential election.’
    • ‘Selena was more than mad at her daughter; she was furious.’
    • ‘I have to admit, I got kind of mad at Jeni because she really wasn't taking my enraged rants very seriously.’
    • ‘When he spoke, he sounded angry, and I wondered why he was mad at us.’
    • ‘How could I be mad at you for defending yourself?’
    • ‘I'm mad with the council and ready for an argument tomorrow.’
    • ‘The same thought had crossed Adam's mind, but he was determined not to spoil this trip by getting mad with the little scoundrel.’
    • ‘I ask her to at least tell me why she's mad at me and she says, ‘I'm sorry, I can't,’ and hangs up on me.’
    • ‘‘He gets mad with himself because he can't do stuff that he used to, like crawling and standing up,’ she said.’
    • ‘If you put in the wrong directions, people get quite mad at you.’
    • ‘It took me awhile to do the right thing and apologize for saying something hurtful - when I was really mad at myself for not taking care of business.’
    • ‘I've never had a friend get so mad with me that they turn off the phone and not turn it back on for two days.’
    angry, furious, infuriated, irate, raging, enraged, fuming, blazing, flaming mad, blazing mad, in a towering rage, incensed, wrathful, seeing red, cross, indignant, exasperated, irritated, berserk, out of control, beside oneself
    become very angry, lose one's temper, get in a rage, rant, rant and rave, fulminate
    View synonyms
  • 4US informal Great; remarkable.

    ‘I got mad respect for him’
    ‘this author has mad skills with the written word’
    • ‘I have mad love for my dude.’
    • ‘The girls love her and she's got mad zombie-killing skills.’
    • ‘But I have to give mad credit to Jennifer Lawrence.’
    • ‘I give him mad props for keeping his stuff together.’
    • ‘I have mad respect for the filmmakers for being at a place where most other folks would rather run away from.’
    • ‘We watch Chelsea ace her first test, so we know she's got mad skills.’
    • ‘Mad love and respect to both of you!’
    • ‘I give mad credits to Annalise and Garrett - those two kids' performances are nothing short of emotional and inspiring.’

adverb

US
informal
  • as submodifier Very; extremely.

    ‘he was mad cool—we immediately hit it off’
    • ‘It was mad foggy.’
    • ‘She comes off as mad unlikeable, I gotta be honest.’
    • ‘Poor Carly looks mad uncomfortable and gives a quick side-eye to the camera.’
    • ‘New York is a mad expensive city and real estate is not easy to come by.’
    • ‘It's mad topical.’
    • ‘And it was mad funky and soulful.’
    • ‘Nicki thought his performance was "mad fly."’
    • ‘Smoking weed used to make me mad emotional.’
    • ‘Imagine that, it's mad underrated in my mind.’
    very, exceedingly, exceptionally, especially, extraordinarily, to a fault, in the extreme, extra, tremendously, immensely, vastly, hugely, abundantly, intensely, acutely, singularly, significantly, distinctly, outstandingly, uncommonly, unusually, decidedly, particularly, eminently, supremely, highly, remarkably, really, truly, mightily, thoroughly
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Make (someone) mad.

    ‘had I but seen thy picture in this plight, it would have madded me’
    • ‘For Mrs. Bleecker was very wrathful, Euan, and Lana's indiscretions madded her.’
    • ‘A wise citizen, I know not whence, had a scold to his wife: when she brawled, he played on his drum, and by that means madded her more, because she saw that he would not be moved.’

Phrases

  • go mad

    • informal Allow oneself to get carried away by enthusiasm or excitement.

      ‘let's go mad and splash out’
      • ‘Keegan jogs out from behind the entrance curtains to the sound of Oasis classic ‘Rock and Roll Star’ and the home fans go mad for it.’
      • ‘I took it over, all her friends went mad for it and I came back with orders for 20 more.’
      • ‘Seeing their fans going mad as we played was one of the highlights of our time.’
      • ‘During the 80's the UK went mad for the more obscure sports of snooker and darts.’
      • ‘The audience went mad with excitement when the elephant stepped on to the stage.’
      • ‘So it was with some bemusement that the village went mad with delight verging on delirium when none other than Two Jags himself made his stunning announcement.’
      • ‘Then we scored for a second time and we went mad again shouting ‘we've won’ but then we realised it was disallowed.’
      • ‘I had to wait to find out if I'd won and when my dad told me I went mad.’
      • ‘Stylists from Vogue and Elle went mad for them and Gordon's collections are now available in Harvey Nichols, Graham and Green and Egg.’
      • ‘‘I was behind the goal when he kicked it and went mad - I just love the game,’ she said.’
      become frenzied, become uncontrollable, lose control, erupt, boil over
      View synonyms
  • like mad

    • informal With great intensity, energy, or enthusiasm.

      ‘I ran like mad’
      • ‘The next morning all the servants were running around like mad preparing for the party that evening.’
      • ‘The two looked at each other for a second, then fired like crazy and ran like mad.’
      • ‘Picking up speed to escape imminent danger, he ran like mad to the finishing line.’
      • ‘My pedals are squeaking like mad, despite liberal lubrication.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, Athena, sitting in front of her laptop, began to type like mad.’
      • ‘I swam like mad towards the surface, harder than I've ever swum in my life, breathing the last of my air.’
      • ‘The seven were still together and with the heads down they sprinted like mad for the line.’
      • ‘My eyes are hurting like mad, this means I will probably have a cold soon.’
      • ‘It was busy - four weeks to Christmas and all the normal people are shopping like mad.’
      • ‘On Saturday morning every bone and muscle was hurting like mad but we still had to soldier on.’
      fast, furiously, as fast as possible, as fast as one's legs can carry one, hurriedly, quickly, rapidly, speedily, hastily
      energetically, enthusiastically, madly, with a will, for all one is worth, passionately, intensely, ardently, fervently
      View synonyms
  • (as) mad as a box of frogs

    • informal Completely insane; crazy.

      ‘of late, he has been behaving in a manner that suggests he's as mad as a box of frogs’
      • ‘Your eccentric behaviour is regarded as a sign of creative literary genius: anyone else is just as mad as a box of frogs.’
      • ‘I wish she would retire from the public eye, be elusive, continue to cultivate the mad as a box of frogs image by all means, but stop talking and concentrate on the singing.’
      • ‘My fish is as mad as a box of Frogs, he just swims at top speed around the tank and then lies shagged out on the bottom for ages.’
      • ‘The real Tara is as mad as a box of frogs, a bit eccentric, very childlike, but intelligent with a good brain—I just don't always use it.’
      • ‘He seems able to frighten the life out of MPs and really does come across as being as mad as a box of frogs.’
      insane, mentally ill, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, sick in the head, not together, crazy, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, psychotic, psychopathic, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare, away with the fairies, foaming at the mouth
      View synonyms
  • (as) mad as a hatter

    • informal Completely insane; crazy.

      ‘he's indisputably a genius, but he's also mad as a hatter’
      • ‘She's rude, insensitive, and quite possibly mad as a hatter.’
      • ‘He has earned quite a reputation for being as mad as a hatter on the field.’
      • ‘To prove there is nothing as mad as a hatter, Jane Bom-Bane unveils her Greatest Hats at The Shed, Brawby Village Hall, near Malton, on October 25.’
      • ‘Robert Wade's father, the late Duke of Carnon, had been as mad as a hatter, as had two of his sisters.’
      • ‘As long as you temper your unrestrained approach to life with occasional periods of sanity - and do your best not to get arrested - it's completely acceptable to be as mad as a hatter.’
      • ‘She's mad as a hatter but that bunch of loonies will love her.’
      • ‘She received demented letters from a mental asylum escapee, and yet it was she who ended up mad as a hatter.’
      • ‘She was obviously as mad as a hatter was, and all I wanted to do now was to go home.’
      • ‘‘He is as mad as a hatter and in to everything,’ said friend Lesley Gill, who used to work with Brian in the Newbridge branch of Dunnes Stores.’
      • ‘‘Being John Malkovich ‘takes you into a tunnel where you crawl straight ahead on all fours toward a light, and you think maybe Lewis Carroll's waiting at the other end, because it's all very surreal and as mad as a hatter.’’
      insane, mentally ill, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, sick in the head, not together, crazy, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, psychotic, psychopathic, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare, away with the fairies, foaming at the mouth
      View synonyms
  • mad keen

    • informal Extremely enthusiastic.

      ‘some men are mad keen on football’
      • ‘Tony Heart is himself a mad keen angler and he works extremely hard at putting his anglers over the abundant quality fish; his spacious boat is purpose built for angling and cruises effortlessly at 14/15 knots.’
      • ‘Chelsea has always been the place for the mad keen gardener to see, try and even buy all the newest and most desirable plants, pots and accessories.’
      • ‘You're mad keen on history - what's your favourite fact about London's past?’
      • ‘Six foot two, mad keen on sports, Craig Flatman seems every inch the typical teenager.’
      • ‘‘The French are mad keen on cycling,’ said the Legion's organiser, Nick Hamner.’
      • ‘Tony had been mad keen on archaeology since boyhood and, as his granddad was a market gardener, was already skilled at digging.’
      • ‘The Namibians are mad keen anglers and are extremely knowledgeable, competent, kind, helpful and dedicated to giving their clients the best possible trip.’
      • ‘When we heard he was mad keen on Beckham, we thought it would be nice to get him something signed by the man himself.’
      • ‘My wife is mad keen on gardening, and nothing makes her more happy than a nice looking hanging basket or a flower tub.’
      • ‘At the moment he is mad keen on his trendy new trainers - ‘skateboarding shoes from California!’’

Origin

Old English gemǣd(e)d ‘maddened’, participial form related to gemād ‘mad’, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation

mad

/mad/

Main definitions of mad in English

: mad1MAD2MAD3

MAD2

  • Mutual (or mutually) assured destruction.

Main definitions of mad in English

: mad1MAD2MAD3

MAD3

  • Moroccan dirham(s).