Definition of madness in US English:

madness

noun

  • 1The state of being mentally ill, especially severely.

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

Pronunciation

madness

/ˈmædnəs//ˈmadnəs/