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[fri-net-ik] /frɪˈnɛt ɪk/
adjective, Also, phrenetical
filled with extreme excitement; fanatic; frenzied.
a phrenetic person.
Origin of phrenetic
1325-75; < Latin phrenēticus < Late Greek phrenētikós, Greek phrenītikós frenzied (see phrenitis, -ic); replacing Middle English frenetike < Anglo-French < Latin as above; cf. frenetic
Related forms
phrenetically, adverb
phreneticness, noun
nonphrenetic, adjective
nonphrenetically, adverb
semiphrenetic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for phrenetic
Historical Examples
  • Yet here I sit, as yet unimmolated on the altar of phrenetic vengeance.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • He is a foolish physician that cannot bear the words of a phrenetic or delirant patient.

  • This was very new; it was also very strange what a fascination he found in his phrenetic exercises.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for phrenetic


an obsolete spelling of frenetic
Derived Forms
phrenetically, adverb
phreneticness, 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 phrenetic

late 14c., from Old French frenetike "mad, crazy" (13c.), from Latin phreneticus, from Greek phren "diaphragm, heart, mind" (see phreno-). A doublet of frantic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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phrenetic in Medicine

phrenetic phre·net·ic (frə-nět'ĭk)
Variant of frenetic.

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