Definition of rabid in US English:



  • 1Having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something.

    ‘the show's small but rabid fan base’
    ‘a rabid ideologue’
    ‘she's expecting more rabid support from the hometown fans’
    • ‘In some instances, such as the eugenic movement, rabid prejudice against so-called racial inferiors combined with a belief in human progress.’
    • ‘It is to do with culture, they argue, and to keep indigenous populations from feeling ‘swamped’ and thus prey to rabid extremists.’
    • ‘Really, the rabid support for gun ownership stateside comes from an ideal that the people should be able to, if necessary, mount an armed resistance to a tyrannical and corrupt government for the purposes of revolution.’
    • ‘On the night of 14 April, as he sat with his wife at Ford's Theatre in Washington, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and rabid Confederate supporter.’
    • ‘In the process, he has been hailed as a prescient genius and dismissed as a rabid extremist, but almost always recognised as a novelist of great power and originality.’
    • ‘For as long as anyone can remember, Indonesian supporters have been infamous, rabid in their encouragement of winners and cruel in their criticism of the vanquished.’
    • ‘There're idiots and rabid fanatics on both sides.’
    • ‘I am not a rabid republican but a middle-of-the-road Irish person who is proud of her Irish history and does not like to see it rewritten by anti-Irish journalists with a unionist agenda offensive to ordinary Irish people.’
    • ‘There's a small, but rabid group of fanatical followers.’
    • ‘Rutgers fans speak with envy of Midwest football schools such as Nebraska, where the fan support is rabid and the local kids stick around.’
    • ‘Over the course of the years most of my rabid political beliefs have been tempered somewhat by increasing understanding of the situation.’
    • ‘He was a rabid snob and a squirming snake-pit of prejudice, without even the intelligence to realise that other people were as human as himself.’
    • ‘A certain portion of these teachers are incompetents and frauds; some are rabid patriots and fundamentalists - and some are ham-fisted leftists.’
    • ‘One of the biggest forces in the underground scene right now is what's called extreme music, and it's got a rabid fanbase.’
    • ‘Televised sports events now evoke maniacal, raucous, rabid and even aggressive sentiments against rival nations or neighbours.’
    • ‘The governor's repeated claim that he will raise the issue of capital punishment during the 2004 session may be no more than a bone tossed to his more rabid supporters.’
    • ‘Plus, it's worth remembering that while convention-goers may be rabid partisans, the folks at home tend to be in the middle.’
    • ‘Many rabid political partisans are so thin-skinned that any unfavorable truth about their heroes muddles their thinking.’
    extreme, fanatical, overzealous, over-enthusiastic, extremist, violent, maniacal, wild, passionate, fervent, diehard, uncompromising
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  • 2(of an animal) affected with rabies.

    • ‘There is death and destruction and they say that it's too dangerous to enter the city because of the rabid dogs and raw sewage - when they're the ones who have created this health hazard.’
    • ‘‘My Indian idyll came to an end four years after Independence because of a panther and a rabid dog,’ she wrote years later.’
    • ‘Outside the United States, exposure to rabid dogs is the most common cause of transmission to humans.’
    • ‘You could get stitched up and receive rabies vaccinations if you got mauled by a rabid dog.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, reality is: if one reaches out to pet a rabid dog, no amount of wishful, pretty thinking will keep that dog from biting you.’
    • ‘Normally wolves would not be a problem, but a rabid wolf had been shot near the town only days before and we could see that our guide and the others were visibly worried about a possible attack.’
    • ‘He went on to develop a rabies vaccine that was made from the spinal cords of rabid rabbits.’
    • ‘The last part of the name is supposed to come from a time when horehound was considered to be effective protection from the bite of a rabid dog.’
    • ‘As a result of haphazard and inadequate culling, there is now a plague of rabid foxes affecting villages and cities in an arc across the Alps from Austria, through Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia to Poland.’
    • ‘On July 6, 1885, Pasteur did something that no one else in human history had every done - he vaccinated a young boy who had been bitten more than 14 times by a rabid dog.’
    • ‘A person who is bitten by a rabid animal but given treatment with rabies vaccines can expect not to develop rabies.’
    rabies-infected, mad, foaming at the mouth, hydrophobic
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    1. 2.1 Of or connected with rabies.


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘furious, madly violent’): from Latin rabidus, from rabere ‘to rave’.