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or looney, luny

[loo-nee] /ˈlu ni/ Informal.
adjective, loonier, looniest.
lunatic; insane.
extremely or senselessly foolish.
noun, plural loonies.
a lunatic.
Origin of loony1
First recorded in 1860-65; lun(atic) + -y2
Related forms
looniness, noun


[loo-nee] /ˈlu ni/
noun, plural loonies.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for loony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I've known Jed all my life and I never can tell what loony thing he's liable to do next.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I've done all kinds of loony things in my life and this attack is just natural, that's all.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She said the neighbors all thought I was loony, anyhow, and I needn't prove it to 'em.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • You ought to wake her up, loony, and ask her what we are to do.

  • They explained that Drylyn was “sort of loony, anyway,” and the sheriff said, “Oh!”

    Red Men and White Owen Wister
British Dictionary definitions for loony


adjective loonier, looniest, lunier, luniest
lunatic; insane
foolish or ridiculous
noun (pl) loonies, looneys, lunies
a foolish or insane person
Derived Forms
looniness, luniness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for loony

also loonie, looney, 1853, American English, short for lunatic, but also influenced by loon (n.2) and perhaps loon (n.1), the bird being noted for its wild cry and method of escaping from danger. As a noun by 1884, from the adjective. Slang loony bin "insane asylum" is from 1919. Looney left in reference to holders of political views felt to be left-wing in the extreme is from 1977. Looney Tunes, Warner Bros. studios' animated cartoon series, dates from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for loony



Crazy; nutty: You looney punk/ ''I think, sir, he's a little luny,'' replied Ginger Nut, with a grin (1853+)


(also loon or loonball): the inspired looney who hated killing/ would have shown up in a Mel Brooks epic had that loonball thought of it first (1884+)

[probably fr both lunatic and crazy as a loon (found by 1845)]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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