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[mad-nis] /ˈmæd nɪs/
the state of being mad; insanity.
senseless folly:
It is sheer madness to speak as you do.
frenzy; rage.
intense excitement or enthusiasm.
Origin of madness
1350-1400; Middle English madnesse. See mad, -ness
Related forms
premadness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for madness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One forgave him all considering this madness that had fallen upon him.

    The Orange Girl Walter Besant
  • “All this is madness,” cries a sober sage: But who, my friend, has reason in his rage?

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • It smells of madness to me, now I see what living demands of us.

    Rose MacLeod Alice Brown
  • If this be not love, it is madness, and then it is pardonable.

  • Wittichius, in his Methodus Simplicium, attributes to it the power of dispelling epidemic fevers and madness!

    British Pomology Robert Hogg
British Dictionary definitions for madness


insanity; lunacy
extreme anger, excitement, or foolishness
a nontechnical word for rabies
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 madness

late 14c., "insanity, dementia; rash or irrational conduct," from mad (adj.) + -ness. Sense of "foolishness" is from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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madness in Medicine

madness mad·ness (mād'nĭs)
The quality or condition of being insane.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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madness in the Bible

This word is used in its proper sense in Deut. 28:34, John 10:20, 1 Cor. 14:23. It also denotes a reckless state of mind arising from various causes, as over-study (Eccl. 1:17; 2:12), blind rage (Luke 6:11), or a depraved temper (Eccl. 7:25; 9:3; 2 Pet. 2:16). David feigned madness (1 Sam. 21:13) at Gath because he "was sore afraid of Achish."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with madness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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