noun, plural mad·hous·es [mad-hou-ziz] /ˈmædˌhaʊ zɪz/.

a hospital for the confinement and treatment of mentally disturbed persons.
a wild, confused, and often noisy place, set of circumstances, etc.: The office was a madhouse today.

Origin of madhouse

First recorded in 1680–90; mad + house

Synonyms for madhouse

2. bedlam, shambles. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for madhouse

turmoil, bedlam, chaos, pandemonium, uproar, asylum, sanitarium

Examples from the Web for madhouse

Contemporary Examples of madhouse

Historical Examples of madhouse

British Dictionary definitions for madhouse


noun informal

a mental hospital or asylum
a state of uproar or confusion
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 madhouse

1680s, from mad + house (n.). Figurative use by 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper