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

Examples from the Web for 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