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[mey-nee-uh, meyn-yuh]
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  1. excessive excitement or enthusiasm; craze: The country has a mania for soccer.
  2. Psychiatry. manic disorder.

Origin of mania

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek manía madness; akin to maenad, mind
Related formshy·per·ma·ni·a, nounsub·ma·ni·a, noun


[mey-nee-uh, meyn-yuh]
  1. an ancient Roman goddess of the dead.


  1. a combining form of mania (megalomania); extended to mean “enthusiasm, often of an extreme and transient nature,” for that specified by the initial element (bibliomania).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mania

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Not only that, but you have a mania for insisting that other men drink with you.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I have a mania, by no means always gratified,––to be out of doors.

  • People ceased paying attention to it, it was a mania of his so he had declared.


    Emile Zola

  • But her own devotion increased until it at last became a mania.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • He was an enthusiastic cyclist, and speed was a mania with him.

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

British Dictionary definitions for mania


  1. a mental disorder characterized by great excitement and occasionally violent behaviourSee also manic-depressive
  2. an obsessional enthusiasm or partialitya mania for mushrooms

Word Origin

C14: via Late Latin from Greek: madness


n combining form
  1. indicating extreme desire or pleasure of a specified kind or an abnormal excitement aroused by somethingkleptomania; nymphomania; pyromania
Derived Forms-maniac, adj combining form, n combining form

Word Origin

from mania
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 mania


late 14c., "mental derangement characterized by excitement and delusion," from Late Latin mania "insanity, madness," from Greek mania "madness, frenzy; enthusiasm, inspired frenzy; mad passion, fury," related to mainesthai "to rage, go mad," mantis "seer," menos "passion, spirit," all from PIE *men- "to think, to have one's mind aroused, rage, be furious" (see mind (n.)). Sense of "fad, craze" is 1680s, from French manie in this sense. Sometimes nativized in Middle English as manye. Used since 1500s (in imitation of Greek) as the second element in compounds expressing particular types of madness (cf. nymphomania, 1775; kleptomania, 1830; megalomania, 1890).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mania in Medicine

American leishmaniasis

  1. mucocutaneous leishmaniasis


  1. An abnormal compulsion or an extreme love for:pyromania.

mania in Culture


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.