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frenzy

[fren-zee]
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noun, plural fren·zies.
  1. extreme mental agitation; wild excitement or derangement.
  2. a fit or spell of violent mental excitement; a paroxysm characteristic of or resulting from a mania: He is subject to these frenzies several times a year.
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verb (used with object), fren·zied, fren·zy·ing.
  1. to drive to frenzy; make frantic: She was frenzied by fear when she smelled the smoke.
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Origin of frenzy

1300–50; Middle English frenesie < Old French < Late Latin phrenēsis < Late Greek, for Greek phrenîtis; see phrenitis
Related formsfren·zi·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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2. madness, insanity, lunacy, aberration; rage, fury, raving.

Antonyms

1. calm. 2. sanity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for frenzy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Their walk was a delight to him, their roaring gallop a frenzy of eager sensation.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Nor, in the blindness of his frenzy, had he seen when she had gone nor whither she went.

  • Have a care, Jinkins, ere you provoke a desperate man to frenzy!

  • Clotilde, in a frenzy of grief, raised her arm, as if to drive her out of the room.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • They could do neither now, for the fear that possessed them at sight of Israel's frenzy.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for frenzy

frenzy

noun plural -zies
  1. violent mental derangement
  2. wild excitement or agitation; distraction
  3. a bout of wild or agitated activitya frenzy of preparations
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verb -zies, -zying or -zied
  1. (tr) to make frantic; drive into a frenzy
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French frenesie, from Late Latin phrēnēsis madness, delirium, from Late Greek, ultimately from Greek phrēn mind; compare frenetic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for frenzy

n.

mid-14c., "delirium, insanity," from Old French frenesie, from Medieval Latin phrenesia, from phrenesis, back-formation from Latin phreneticus "delirious" (see frenetic). Meaning "excited state of mind" is from c.1400.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper