- (among members of certain Southeast Asian cultures) a psychic disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.
- run/go amok. amuck(def 3).
Origin of amok
Examples from the Web for amok
They had her give the weather update, and even let her mangle the word “amok.”The 6 Craziest Carrie Prejean Moments
The Daily Beast Video
November 12, 2009
These unfortunates were sometimes attacked by the amok frenzy.
It is as well that the amok has no weapons other than his knife.Sjambak
John Holbrook Vance
Placido was by this time under the influence of the amok, as the Malayists say.The Reign of Greed
What if that man should take umbrage at some fancied slight to his honour or disregard of his affections and suddenly “amok”?Almayer's Folly
Much has been written concerning the acts of homicidal mania called amuck (amok), which word in the vernacular means to attack.
- a state of murderous frenzy, originally observed among Malays
- run amok to run about with or as if with a frenzied desire to kill
Word Origin and History for amok
in verbal phrase run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk "attacking furiously." Earlier the word was used as a noun or adjective meaning "a frenzied Malay," originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.
There are some of them [the Javanese] who ... go out into the streets, and kill as many persons as they meet. ... These are called Amuco. ["The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An Account of the Countries Bordering on the Indian Ocean and Their Inhabitants," c.1516, English translation]