[ mey-nee-ak ]
/ ˈmeɪ niˌæk /


a raving or violently insane person; lunatic.
any intemperate or overly zealous or enthusiastic person: a maniac when it comes to details.


Nearby words

  1. manhood suffrage,
  2. manhunt,
  3. mani,
  4. mani-pedi,
  5. mania,
  6. maniacal,
  7. manic,
  8. manic depression,
  9. manic disorder,
  10. manic-depressive

Origin of maniac

First recorded in 1595–1605, maniac is from the Medieval Latin word maniacus of, pertaining to madness. See mania, -ac Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maniac

British Dictionary definitions for maniac


/ (ˈmeɪnɪˌæk) /


a wild disorderly person
a person who has a great craving or enthusiasm for somethinga football maniac
psychiatry obsolete a person afflicted with mania

Word Origin for maniac

C17: from Late Latin maniacus belonging to madness, from Greek

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 maniac



c.1600, "pertaining to mania; insane," from French maniaque (14c.), from Late Latin maniacus, from Greek maniakos, from mania (see mania). Borrowed at first in French form; Latinized in English from 1727. The noun is attested from 1763, from the adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for maniac


[ mānē-ăk′ ]


An insane person.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.