Main definitions of mad in English

: mad1MAD2MAD3

mad1

adjective

  • 1British Mentally ill; insane:

    ‘he felt as if he were going mad’
    • ‘There was a guy in there clearly barking mad, swearing and being odd.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Posterity has called her mad: a schizophrenic.’
    • ‘Would I go slowly mad, develop dementia and suffer a painful, lingering death?’
    • ‘‘She went mad and started throwing stock around the shop,’ said Mr Brown, who has run the family business for 16 years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's kind of nutty, kind of mad and that's exactly the kind of art that we like.’
    • ‘He looked wet through and filthy at the same time, totally dishevelled, more like the mad scientist than the nutty professor.’
    • ‘He described him as completely mad, crazy, off the wall.’
    • ‘Why should they be interested in my mad ravings?’
    • ‘You have to be mad, you have to be insane, to despair in that way.’
    • ‘It was disturbing to think him mad because he seemed so… normal.’
    • ‘The household is mad, disturbed, yet idyllic and peaceful.’
    • ‘But Desdemona, she was nothing but insane, mad, crazy, and that was the thing she passed on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The narrator is convinced someone is haunting him, taking possession of his mind, making him think mad thoughts.’
    • ‘It does not mean that he is in a psychotic state or raving mad, but it indicates your finding in a legal way.’
    • ‘Charlie was an orphan and had been raised by an old widower man, Mr Smith, who many respected, but everyone thought was slightly mad.’
    • ‘I've disappeared countless times when I thought too many people thought I was mad or bad or loony.’
    • ‘That is why they are declared schizophrenic - mad folk, in common parlance.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's no secret code or literary illusion, there's just his own mad thoughts on a page.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The future scenario gives him carte blanche to run riot with all these mad ideas.’
      • ‘He was too young to understand Akhenaten's mad ideas; many adults had problems comprehending them.’
      • ‘A blind pilot is not as mad an idea as it sounds, Hilton-Barber explains.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maybe a safety harness for your pet isn't such a barking mad idea after all.’
      • ‘Back in the 1950s, John Stewart, a Glasgow-born theatre director, had a mad idea which had all the hallmarks of disaster about it.’
      • ‘When I visited her, I saw notebooks full of her mad ideas.’
      • ‘Big cities like London, Paris and New York are all mad ideas to host events of this size.’
      • ‘Alien abductions, for example, was a mad belief Britons were far too sophisticated to embrace.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The trek, that will take approximately seven days to complete, was the result of a mad idea on New Year's Eve.’
      • ‘You'd have to be totally mad to think you could go through that gate in safety.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘"I enjoy organising events but this time we've gone really mad.’
      • ‘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.’
      foolish, insane, stupid, lunatic, foolhardy, idiotic, irrational, unreasonable, illogical, zany, senseless, nonsensical, absurd, impractical, silly, inane, asinine, ludicrous, wild, unwise, imprudent, preposterous
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    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’
      • ‘Life is mad with rushing from place to place and job to job.’
      • ‘The scene made him go mad with jealousy, leading to a violent argument with his wife.’
      • ‘He was being driven mad with all of this waiting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Matt was clearly mad with grief, his words laced with a new desperation and an unwelcome spite.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was a mad intensity to everything, it was like some frenetic nightmare, every time I thought of Aykan and his plans and conspiracies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Everyone in the paper ticket line makes a mad dash back to the kiosks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In a mad dash of effort, Noman climbed over the board like lightning.’
      • ‘She hated the place, and was mad with desire to leave it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His eyes gleamed in the dark round face, mad with despair.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Does this mad rush to abandon our natural sleep cycle to work around the clock really make sense?’
      • ‘The dance started at seven so there was a mad scramble to get ready.’
      • ‘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.’
      overwrought, emotional, uncontrolled, uncontrollable, out of control, unrestrained, unrestrainable, frenzied, in a frenzy, frantic, wild, feverish
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    3. 1.3 (of a dog) rabid.
      • ‘And all the while I'm thinking, this dog is mad, and blind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The sports establishment, of course, is attacking him like a pack of mad dogs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What shall I do when a mad dog attacks an innocent child?’
      • ‘This is the ‘furious’ form of rabies, the kind traditionally associated with mad dogs.’
      • ‘Do we not kill mad dogs when they become dangerous for our life?’
      • ‘The only way you get anywhere with a mad dog is to confront it head-on.’
      rabies-infected, foaming at the mouth, hydrophobic
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  • 2informal Very enthusiastic about someone or something:

    ‘he's mad about football’
    [in combination] ‘another myth is that Scorpios are sex-mad’
    • ‘Although he was mad about films, he didn't neglect studies.’
    • ‘He was mad about yoga and was soon lured into dancing, although he felt that he was ‘funny-looking’.’
    • ‘When it comes to sports, India is mad about cricket.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With every sigh, I become more mad about you, more lost without you.’
    • ‘Luke, 11, was mad about trains and Harry Potter, and Aimee, 13, loved fairies.’
    • ‘I'm mad about water, and we overlooked the Tamar, which is breathtaking.’
    • ‘Aside from Timothy, all of his friends were raving mad about her.’
    • ‘She knows that I am hooked on football, mad about it.’
    • ‘They are both mad about the season's bright colours as well as the sophisticated button, beaded and flower detail to be found everywhere.’
    • ‘And apparently she is crazy mad head over heels in love with me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whichever way you look at it, the Gold Coast dairy farmer is mad about goats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jack, who is mad about trains, Thomas The Tank Engine and Bob The Builder, is due to start school in September.’
    • ‘We've always been mad about each other, always.’
    • ‘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.’
    enthusiastic, passionate, impassioned, keen on
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    1. 2.1British Very exciting.
      • ‘In the audience it was both a mad mayhem of frenetic bouncing and a sea of staring faces intrigued and in awe.’
      • ‘His production's got people mad excited, with everyone wanting a piece of the pie.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had a sudden uncontrollable desire to be in some mad city on the other side of the world again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Siamese leaped around in mad excitement, his tail now swishing like a badly excited dog.’
      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.’
    • ‘His voice sounded more than just confused, it was tired and irritated too, mad at the world.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How could I be mad at you for defending yourself?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have to admit, I got kind of mad at Jeni because she really wasn't taking my enraged rants very seriously.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘He gets mad with himself because he can't do stuff that he used to, like crawling and standing up,’ she said.’
    • ‘Now don't be mad with me, because it's not entirely my fault that this is happening.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When he spoke, he sounded angry, and I wondered why he was mad at us.’
    • ‘Selena was more than mad at her daughter; she was furious.’
    • ‘The Hos were always mad at somebody, and somebody was always furious with the Hos.’
    • ‘A few weeks back I was really, really mad about not being able to vote in the upcoming presidential election.’
    • ‘I'm mad with the council and ready for an argument tomorrow.’
    • ‘When I yell to get their attention, they get mad at me.’
    become very angry, lose one's temper, get in a rage, rant, rant and rave, fulminate
    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
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  • 4US informal Great; remarkable:

    ‘I got mad respect for him’
    ‘this author has mad skills with the written word’
    • ‘I give him mad props for keeping his stuff together.’
    • ‘But I have to give mad credit to Jennifer Lawrence.’
    • ‘I give mad credits to Annalise and Garrett - those two kids' performances are nothing short of emotional and inspiring.’
    • ‘The girls love her and she's got mad zombie-killing skills.’
    • ‘Mad love and respect to both of you!’
    • ‘I have mad love for my dude.’
    • ‘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.’

adverb

US
informal
  • [as submodifier] Very; extremely:

    ‘he was mad cool—we immediately hit it off’
    • ‘New York is a mad expensive city and real estate is not easy to come by.’
    • ‘Nicki thought his performance was "mad fly."’
    • ‘She comes off as mad unlikeable, I gotta be honest.’
    • ‘Smoking weed used to make me mad emotional.’
    • ‘Imagine that, it's mad underrated in my mind.’
    • ‘Poor Carly looks mad uncomfortable and gives a quick side-eye to the camera.’
    • ‘It's mad topical.’
    • ‘It was mad foggy.’
    • ‘And it was mad funky and soulful.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For Mrs. Bleecker was very wrathful, Euan, and Lana's indiscretions madded her.’

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.

Pronunciation:

MAD

/mad/

Main definitions of mad in English

: mad1MAD2MAD3

MAD3

  • Moroccan dirham(s).

Pronunciation:

MAD

/mad/