- (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) an insane person.
- a person whose actions and manner are marked by extreme eccentricity or recklessness.
- a person legally declared to be of unsound mind and who therefore is not held capable or responsible before the law: a former legal term.
- (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) insane.
- characteristic or suggestive of lunacy; wildly or recklessly foolish.
- Older Use. designated for or used by the insane: a lunatic asylum.
- gaily or lightheartedly mad, frivolous, eccentric, etc.: She has a lunatic charm that is quite engaging.
Origin of lunatic
Related Wordsmaniacal, crazed, psychopath, maniac, schizophrenic, bananas, psychotic, stupid, zany, absurd, irrational, whacko, schizoid, kook, loon, crackpot, cuckoo, paranoid, nut, flake
Examples from the Web for lunatic
Fine, but there are lunatic sums of money being spent on art, surely?William, Kate, and Jay Z’s Favorite Art Star: Alexander Gilkes' World of Rock Stars and Royalty
December 10, 2014
“I saw a lunatic, simply stated,” the victim, a contractor from nearby Bristol, told police.Can America’s Favorite Ex-Con Mayor Win Again?
June 22, 2014
Everyone on the sidewalk looked at her like she was a lunatic, but she didn't care—she wanted that part.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’
April 6, 2014
There is only one word which I loathe more than I do lunatic and that word is crazy.
If Hawberk knew how I loathe that word “lunatic,” he would never use it in my presence.
He described himself briefly as a lunatic, and walked on again.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
An inhabitant of the moon, as distinguished from Lunatic, one whom the moon inhabits.The Devil's Dictionary
The lunatic approached Cesarini with an air of dignity and condescension.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
If the lunatic caught her—well, he would catch her, but it should not be her fault if he did.The Incomplete Amorist
Called a liar and a lunatic, Bernadette was threatened with imprisonment.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- an archaic word for insane
- foolish; eccentric; crazy
- a person who is insane
Word Origin and History for lunatic
late 13c., "affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon," from Old French lunatique, lunage "insane," or directly from Late Latin lunaticus "moon-struck," from Latin luna "moon" (see Luna). Cf. Old English monseoc "lunatic," literally "moon-sick;" Middle High German lune "humor, temper, mood, whim, fancy" (German Laune), from Latin luna. Cf. also New Testament Greek seleniazomai "be epileptic," from selene "moon." Lunatic fringe (1913) apparently was coined by U.S. politician Theodore Roosevelt.
Then, among the wise and high-minded people who in self-respecting and genuine fashion strive earnestly for peace, there are foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it -- the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements. [Theodore Roosevelt, autobiography, 1913].
Earlier it was a term for a type of hairstyle worn over the forehead (1877). Lunatic soup (1933) was Australian slang for "alcoholic drink."
"lunatic person," late 14c., from lunatic (adj.).