Definition of madness in English:

madness

noun

  • 1[mass noun] The state of having a serious mental illness:

    ‘in his madness he destroyed the work of years’
    • ‘Many claim the split was due to Evatt's paranoia, power hunger or just plain madness.’
    • ‘There's something about this place that breeds great madness and insanity.’
    • ‘Psychiatry has provided fertile soil for endless theories about distress and madness.’
    • ‘At times the disturbance was so severe as to bring him to the edge of madness.’
    • ‘In any case, my mental state bordered on madness, and twenty-four hours of Paris sufficed to restore me to my equilibrium.’
    • ‘Reasons for divorce are often infertility, adultery, unreasonable behaviour, and madness.’
    • ‘Something had to occupy him, or the thoughts of Cathryn would lead him to madness.’
    • ‘Since then, Spector has been a virtual recluse, dogged by rumours of mania and madness.’
    • ‘The mere fact that I had even considered taking on this analysis already seemed to be a sign of madness.’
    • ‘Weighing over 250 lb, he was on the brink of madness following years of self-abuse.’
    • ‘Anorexia itself seems like mad behaviour, but I don't think it is madness.’
    • ‘Some people think fragmentation is unhealthy or it's schizophrenia or madness.’
    • ‘In a sense can one culture's madness be seen as another culture's eccentricity or even quaintness?’
    • ‘You teeter on the brink of more serious madness, perhaps as a result of frequent exposure to morbid imagery and bizarre literature.’
    • ‘Dorothy tells us that what is called madness is really immense mental distress, inability to cope.’
    • ‘What you are talking about is unusual behaviour, not madness.’
    • ‘The madness of King George III attracted considerable attention and led to calls for more humane forms of treatment.’
    • ‘Paranoia mushroomed into madness for Nash and eventually he was diagnosed as schizophrenic.’
    • ‘The link between creativity, brilliance and madness has long fascinated us, but is there any basis to it?’
    • ‘Separating him from society, his highly personal vision ultimately leads him to madness.’
    insanity, insaneness, dementia, mental illness, derangement, dementedness, instability, unsoundness of mind, lunacy, distraction, depression, mania, hysteria, frenzy, psychosis, psychopathy, schizophrenia, hydrophobia
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    1. 1.1 Extremely foolish behaviour:
      ‘it is madness to allow children to roam around after dark’
      [count noun] ‘the new laws are a madness’
      • ‘The duo have been entertaining audiences all over the world for more than a decade with their musical madness and bizarre antics.’
      • ‘This hilarious night of comedy and madness would also make a perfect Christmas party night.’
      • ‘I've long since given up on attempting to predict the behavior and madness of crowds.’
      • ‘How do you tell where legitimate protest, in a sensible cause, shades into madness?’
      • ‘I felt that to enter the wreck below decks at this depth would be madness, even though interesting brass items shone below me in my torchlight.’
      • ‘He wanted to stop this madness, prevent these kids from getting into serious trouble.’
      • ‘It was absolute madness, yet at the same time, it seemed like such an irresistible notion.’
      • ‘To introduce this sentiment into modern society would be madness.’
      • ‘This is plain and simple madness and the people behind it have real influence.’
      • ‘Given the madness and, some say, the sheer stupidity of the event, the number of fatalities is quite low.’
      • ‘Judge Tom O'Donnell said that for Dunne to walk into a bar even with a toy gun was an act of absolute and utter madness.’
      • ‘It seems that folly knows no nationality, and ‘the madness of crowds’ is universal.’
      • ‘I would have pure madness to contend with and no guide-lines for appropriate behavior.’
      folly, foolishness, stupidity, insanity, lunacy, midsummer madness, foolhardiness, idiocy, imprudence, irrationality, unreasonableness, illogicality, senselessness, nonsense, nonsensicalness, absurdness, absurdity, silliness, inanity, ludicrousness, wildness, preposterousness
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    2. 1.2 A state of wild or chaotic activity:
      ‘at midnight it's absolute madness in here’
      • ‘I know I have asked this question before but why is this kind of madness allowed to continue?’
      • ‘In all the chaos and madness, his full attention was focused on the road ahead and the path to freedom.’
      • ‘It was meant to be a low-key opportunity to stay with Rob, indulge in a little low-key madness and see a few old friends.’
      • ‘There's lots of women and kids at Napoli, but there's also this atmosphere of chaos and madness too.’
      • ‘But for this week the mayhem and madness continues in the toy stores of Sligo.’
      • ‘My husband leaves a haven of rest and order to come home to mayhem and madness.’
      • ‘That craziest part about it was that for a moment after she'd said it, he had actually contemplated madness and mayhem.’
      • ‘The funny climax, shot against the picturesque sand dunes of Dubai, is a mix of madness and mayhem.’
      • ‘Now the twin madnesses of the Marathon and the Boat Race are over I have started going back to the gym for some exercise.’
      • ‘There are many Liverpool fans who will have spent the last week laughing uproariously at the madness of it all.’
      • ‘So for madness and mayhem, fun and fanfare, chalk it down, it's Hulla-baloo for Waterford.’
      • ‘He is absolutely correct, there is total madness and mayhem on the roads in Bradford.’
      • ‘Then there is New Year, which is mayhem and madness of fireworks, and is not even Thai New Year!’
      • ‘The foxy showbiz legend Basil Brush is back for more madness and mayhem and Cavegirl returns with more prehistoric comedy and adventure.’
      • ‘They will then make their way to the Peoples' Park for maritime madness and mayhem.’
      • ‘How come Jack McConnell greeted all the madness and mayhem of Wednesday's debate on the Licensing Bill with the widest of smiles?’
      • ‘Twenty minutes after the final out, I'm standing on the field in the midst of absolute madness.’
      • ‘Surveying a nation's press during the four weeks of World Cup-induced madness is an exercise in extremes.’
      • ‘Midsummer madness is upon us as Manchester United are linked with every footballer capable of standing on one foot and swinging the other.’
      • ‘Chaotic dogfights appeared and disappeared in the madness of the battle, as either attacker or defender was killed.’
      bedlam, mayhem, chaos, pandemonium, babel, uproar, turmoil, wild disarray, disorder, hurly-burly
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Pronunciation:

madness

/ˈmadnəs/