adjective, mad·der, mad·dest.
- abnormally furious; ferocious: a mad bull.
- affected with rabies; rabid: a mad dog.
verb (used with object), mad·ded, mad·ding.
verb (used without object), mad·ded, mad·ding.
Origin of mad
SYNONYMS FOR mad
The Old English forms are from the Germanic adjective gamaidaz “changed for the worse, abnormal.” The element maid- in gamaidaz is from Proto-Indo-European moi-, a variant of the root mei-, moi- “to change, exchange, go, move,” extended with a dental suffix ( -d in Germanic, -t elsewhere). The same suffixed variant moit- appears in Latin mūtāre “to change, exchange, give and receive in exchange.” Sicilian Greek (therefore likely to be influenced by Latin) has the noun moîtos “thanks, favor, reward,” which is possibly a borrowing from Old Latin moitus.
The progression of senses of mad starts with its original sense in Old English, “troubled in mind, demented.” The senses “rabid (dog),” “foolish or unwise,” and “overcome by desire or eagerness” are all recorded from around 1300. Mad in the sense “enraged, angry” arose after about 1400. This sense of mad is the usual colloquial term in the United States (the British are more likely to use angry ) and has been condemned by the arbiters of usage since the late-18th century. The sense “wildly lively, merry” is an Americanism, associated with jazz and African Americans, and dates to the early 1940s.
like mad (initially, for mad ) is quite old, from the 14th century. We take it today to mean “with great haste or energy,” but the original meaning was more literal: “in the manner of one who is mad.”
Examples from the Web for half-mad
To his detractors, he was a half-mad paranoiac who nearly destroyed the CIA in his obsessive search for a Soviet mole.The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy|Will Rahn|October 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But Daniel Day-Lewis is splendid as Lincoln, and Sally Field almost as good as the cunning, half-mad Mary.Making Lincoln Sexy: Jerome Charyn’s Fictional President|Tom LeClair|March 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Pace Freud, artists do not have to be hard-living, half-mad or broke to make fine, authentic work.
He saw what he might have been; he knew too well what he was—'half-mad, half-fed, half-sarket.'Robert Burns|Gabriel Setoun
Diccon the Bedlamite, a half-mad mendicant, both knave and thief.Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1|The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.
Tharn was beginning to wonder what far-reaching effects this half-mad abduction would have on his future life.Warrior of the Dawn|Howard Carleton Browne
He was starving and half-mad, that last letter to Catcott shows.Bristol Bells|Emma Marshall
After we had passed the narrow inlet through the reef, we landed, to find the agent in a peculiar, half-mad condition.Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific|Felix Speiser
British Dictionary definitions for half-mad (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for half-mad (2 of 3)
n acronym for US
British Dictionary definitions for half-mad (3 of 3)
adjective madder or maddest
- unusually ferociousa mad buffalo
- afflicted with rabies
verb mads, madding or madded
Derived Formsmaddish, adjective
Word Origin for mad
Medicine definitions for half-mad
Idioms and Phrases with half-mad
In addition to the idioms beginning with mad
- mad about
- mad as a hatter
- mad as a hornet
- made for each other
- made of money
- made to measure
- made to order
- mad rush
- crazy (mad) about
- drive someone crazy (mad)
- hopping mad
- like crazy (mad)
- stark raving mad