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See more synonyms for barmy on Thesaurus.com
adjective, barm·i·er, barm·i·est.
  1. containing or resembling barm; frothy.
  2. British Slang. balmy(def 4).
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Origin of barmy

1525–35; barm + -y1; def. 2 probably respelling of balmy by r-less speaker
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for barmy

Historical Examples

  • Well, then, hall Hi can say his hit sounds like barmy Yankee nonsense to me.

    The Glory of The Coming

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • "If you ask me, I think the blighter is barmy," asserted the Briton.

    The Unspeakable Perk

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

  • A man shall not be choak't With the stench of garlic, nor be pasted To the barmy jacket of a beer-brewer.

    Shakespearean Playhouses

    Joseph Quincy Adams

  • None of them except Barmy Sid once visited his rooms; nor did he find it at all easy to strike up even a staircase acquaintance.

    Sinister Street, vol. 2

    Compton Mackenzie

British Dictionary definitions for barmy


adjective -mier or -miest
  1. slang eccentric or foolishAlso: balmy
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Word Origin

C16: originally, full of barm, hence frothing, excited, flighty, etc
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 barmy


1530s, "frothing, covered with barm;" see barm + -y (2). Figurative sense of "excited, flighty, bubbling with excitement" is from c.1600. Meaning "foolish" (1892) is probably an alteration of balmy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper