[ ber-surk, -zurk ]
/ bərˈsɜrk, -ˈzɜrk /


violently or destructively frenzied; wild; crazed; deranged: He suddenly went berserk.


(sometimes initial capital letter) Scandinavian Legend. Also ber·serk·er. an ancient Norse warrior who fought with frenzied rage in battle, possibly induced by eating hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Origin of berserk

1865–70; < Old Norse berserkr, equivalent to ber- (either *ber-, base of bjǫrn bear2 or berr bare1) + serkr sark, shirt, armor

Related forms

ber·serk·ly, adverbber·serk·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for berserk

British Dictionary definitions for berserk


/ (bəˈzɜːk, -ˈsɜːk) /


frenziedly violent or destructive (esp in the phrase go berserk)


Also called: berserker a member of a class of ancient Norse warriors who worked themselves into a frenzy before battle and fought with insane fury and courage

Word Origin for berserk

C19: Icelandic berserkr, from björn bear + serkr shirt
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