- any plant of the genus Rubia, especially the climbing R. tinctorum, of Europe, having open clusters of small, yellowish flowers.Compare madder family.
- the root of this plant, formerly used in dyeing.
- the dye or coloring matter itself.
- a color produced by such a dye.
Origin of madder1
- comparative of mad.
- mentally disturbed; deranged; insane; demented.
- enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.
- (of animals)
- abnormally furious; ferocious: a mad bull.
- affected with rabies; rabid: a mad dog.
- extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent; irrational: a mad scheme to invade France.
- wildly excited or confused; frantic: mad haste.
- overcome by desire, eagerness, enthusiasm, etc.; excessively or uncontrollably fond; infatuated: He's mad about the opera.
- wildly lively and merry; enjoyably hilarious: to have a mad time at the Mardi Gras.
- (of wind, storms, etc.) furious in violence: A mad gale swept across the channel.
- an angry or ill-tempered period, mood, or spell: The last time he had a mad on, it lasted for days.
- Archaic. to make mad.
- Archaic. to be, become, or act mad.
- like mad, Informal. with great haste, impulsiveness, energy, or enthusiasm: She ran like mad to catch the bus.
- mad as a hatter, completely insane.
Origin of mad
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for madder
Late last week, McDonough assured us that Obama is “madder than hell” about the VA fiasco.The Scandal at the VA Is Real, and Obama Is Ducking It
May 20, 2014
Thus the new marching orders: get madder about the same old things - but in an even more deranged fashion.David's Bookclub: 'Bullies'
January 14, 2013
On the other hand, in fairness to them, if they had read the book, they'd no doubt be madder still.Malkin-Bots Ineptly Strike Back
David Frum, Justin Green
September 23, 2012
In fact, among some pockets of the rich, the more Republicans cut their taxes, the madder they get.Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Comments Were Bad Economics and Bad Politics
September 18, 2012
Your reporter, however, found that the more he learned, the madder he got.Where's The Outrage?
February 12, 2009
And next day Cap'n Jonadab was round, madder'n a licked pup.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
A madder journey than Jim could have conceived of, had he not been a participant in it.
Vy the tevil don't beobles zay when there are things the madder at home?Despair's Last Journey
David Christie Murray
A madder fellow than Bill Poodles never floundered in shallow water.Breaking Away
Nonie's cheeks were scarlet; she was getting madder and madder with every word she said.We Ten</p>
Lyda Farrington Kraus
- any of several rubiaceous plants of the genus Rubia, esp the Eurasian R. tinctoria, which has small yellow flowers and a red fleshy root
- the root of this plant
- a dark reddish-purple dye formerly obtained by fermentation of this root; identical to the synthetic dye, alizarin
- a red lake obtained from alizarin and an inorganic base; used as a pigment in inks and paints
- the comparative of mad
- mutual assured destruction: a theory of nuclear deterrence whereby each side in a conflict has the capacity to destroy the other in retaliation for a nuclear attack
- mentally deranged; insane
- senseless; foolisha mad idea
- (often foll by at) informal angry; resentful
- (foll by about, on, or over; often postpositive) wildly enthusiastic (about) or fond (of)mad about football; football-mad
- extremely excited or confused; frantica mad rush
- temporarily overpowered by violent reactions, emotions, etcmad with grief
- (of animals)
- unusually ferociousa mad buffalo
- afflicted with rabies
- like mad informal with great energy, enthusiasm, or haste; wildly
- mad as a hatter crazily eccentric
- archaic to make or become mad; act or cause to act as if mad
Word Origin and History for madder
type of plant (in modern use Rubia tinctorum) used for making dyes, Old English mædere, from PIE *modhro- "dye plant" (cf. Old Norse maðra, Old High German matara "madder," Polish modry, Czech modry "blue").
late 13c., from Old English gemædde (plural) "out of one's mind" (usually implying also violent excitement), also "foolish, extremely stupid," earlier gemæded "rendered insane," past participle of a lost verb *gemædan "to make insane or foolish," from Proto-Germanic *ga-maid-jan, demonstrative form of *ga-maid-az "changed (for the worse), abnormal" (cf. Old Saxon gimed "foolish," Old High German gimeit "foolish, vain, boastful," Gothic gamaiþs "crippled, wounded," Old Norse meiða "to hurt, maim"), from intensive prefix *ga- + PIE *moito-, past participle of root *mei- "to change" (cf. Latin mutare "to change," mutuus "done in exchange," migrare "to change one's place of residence;" see mutable).
Emerged in Middle English to replace the more usual Old English word, wod (see wood (adj.)). Sense of "beside oneself with excitement or enthusiasm" is from early 14c. Meaning "beside oneself with anger" is attested from early 14c., but deplored by Rev. John Witherspoon (1781) as an Americanism. It now competes in American English with angry for this sense. Of animals, "affected with rabies," from late 13c. Phrase mad as a March hare is attested from 1520s, via notion of breeding season; mad as a hatter is from 1829 as "demented," 1837 as "enraged," according to a modern theory supposedly from erratic behavior caused by prolonged exposure to poison mercuric nitrate, used in making felt hats. For mad as a wet hen see hen. Mad money is attested from 1922; mad scientist is from 1891.
late 14c., from mad (adj.).
- Angry; resentful.
- Suffering from a disorder of the mind; insane.
- Affected by rabies; rabid.