frantic; frenzied.

Also fre·net·i·cal, phrenetic, phrenetical.

Origin of frenetic

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at frantic
Related formsfre·net·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·fre·net·ic, adjectivenon·fre·net·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedfanatic frantic frenetic (see synonym study at fanatic) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frenetic

Contemporary Examples of frenetic

Historical Examples of frenetic

  • Frenetic to be free,” like the pennon, is in this sense the concentration of its meaning.

  • It is here worth noticing that Siena, the city of civil discord, was also the city of frenetic piety.

  • Everywhere was joy, gain, revelry; everywhere certainty of the morrow's bread; everywhere the frenetic outbursts of vitality.

  • He had the unwholesome, frenetic aspect of the patent medicine enthusiast, not uncommon in the North.

    Two on the Trail

    Hulbert Footner

  • A cripple without legs having succeeded in seizing a drachma, the applause was frenetic.


    Anatole France

British Dictionary definitions for frenetic



distracted or frantic; frenzied
Derived Formsfrenetically, adverbfreneticness, noun

Word Origin for frenetic

C14: via Old French frenetique from Latin phrenēticus, from Greek phrenētikos, from phrenitis insanity, from phrēn mind
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 frenetic

late 14c., from Old French frenetike, from Latin phreneticus "delirious," alteration of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis "frenzy," literally "inflammation of the brain," from phren "mind, reason" (from PIE *gwhren- "to think") + -itis. The classical ph- was restored mid-16c. Related: Frenetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper