Definition of frantic in English:



  • 1Wild or distraught with fear, anxiety, or other emotion.

    ‘she was frantic with worry’
    • ‘She made frantic, wild attempts at my neck and face, trying to turn my head to the side.’
    • ‘This time, however, he failed to return and his mother is frantic with worry about his safety.’
    • ‘Many customers eagerly signed up because their pets had been made frantic with fear by the noise of fireworks.’
    • ‘He seemed a man true to his faith and culture and frantic with worry about his children's future.’
    • ‘Knowing that Olivia would be frantic with worry, Beth decided that now was such a time.’
    • ‘When it was nearly evening and she had not returned home, her mother grew frantic.’
    • ‘At the airport G, who is basically ten times more masculine than me, was almost frantic with nerves.’
    • ‘Their mother joined the frantic rescue effort but all three were swept away.’
    • ‘Two young children had gone over the edge of the pier in their buggy and their frantic mother had dived in to save them.’
    • ‘I got to the building and the lady in the office got a bit frantic coz she couldn't find our assignments.’
    • ‘We are all fantastically relieved - especially his mum who has been frantic with worry.’
    • ‘I was frantic by then but it took four and half hours to resolve, when I convinced them over the phone what had happened.’
    • ‘Evidence of that frantic plea brings tears to her eyes, but they dry quickly.’
    • ‘I like to imagine my mother a harried and frantic termagant, slightly crazed and in distinct need of sedation.’
    • ‘I want to feel crazy and frantic and desperate and feel like you're the only thing that can satisfy me.’
    • ‘There was a frantic tone to the stories, an underlying hysteria I felt as a child but could only name as an adult.’
    • ‘I have been speaking to his dad and he and his wife are just frantic with worry, they can't sleep or eat.’
    • ‘The frantic wife of a doctor who has been missing for four days told how she kissed him goodbye before he left for work and disappeared.’
    • ‘Now he is missing and his relatives back home are frantic with worry and helplessness.’
    panic-stricken, panic-struck, panicky, beside oneself, at one's wits' end, berserk, distraught, overwrought, worked up, agitated, distressed
    frenzied, wild, frenetic, fraught, fevered, feverish, hysterical, mad, crazed, out of control, uncontrolled, unhinged, out of one's mind, maniacal, demented, desperate
    in a state, in a tizz, in a tizzy, wound up, het up, in a flap, in a cold sweat, tearing one's hair out
    having kittens, in a flat spin, swivel-eyed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Conducted in a hurried, excited, and chaotic way, typically because of the need to act quickly.
      ‘frantic attempts to resuscitate the girl’
      • ‘Some rushed to the lounge in need of more coffee while a few were in frantic search of the editors.’
      • ‘He opened the door to his room again, now in a frantic search for anything he may need.’
      • ‘She was quickly discovered after a frantic search, bleeding and shocked.’
      • ‘It has emerged that frantic efforts were made to save him at the scene and later, in the ambulance and medical tent.’
      • ‘In the past decade we started a frantic search for clues that might lead to its cure.’
      • ‘This was a game desperate for a goal, but after a frantic 90 minutes the scoresheet still remained blank.’
      • ‘From that position, he can't help but learn more about the frantic pace and pressure of the game.’
      • ‘I have the necessary space to operate within this frantic environment without anxiety.’
      • ‘The men noticed the boy was missing and after a frantic search they discovered his body in the river.’
      • ‘Most games are frantic, intense and have you pumped full of adrenalin.’
      • ‘Life can be a frantic rush from cradle to grave, with little chance to slow down, stop, and take in the beauty of the world around us.’
      • ‘After a frantic search she spotted the toddler floating in the lake.’
      • ‘The manager rightly said he felt sorry for the fans after this frantic, frenetic defeat.’
      • ‘In the latter stages they attempted a frantic counter-attack but the ball play was feeble.’
      • ‘It has to swing and look effortless but is often wild and frantic with loads of kicks, jumps, lifts, hops and spins.’
      • ‘It started to become apparent that maybe the frantic search for vitamin cures was missing the point.’
      • ‘I woke up to hear my parents gently bickering with one another, and my mother's frantic hoovering.’
      • ‘It was then a frantic race to the finish as the excited onlookers cheered the teams over the line.’
      • ‘Lay out everything you'll need the night before to save frantic searches for baby clothes in the morning.’
      • ‘The game started at a frantic pace with both sides going in search of a vital opening goal.’


Late Middle English frentik insane, violently mad from Old French frenetique (see frenetic).