adjective Also phre·net·i·cal.

filled with extreme excitement; fanatic; frenzied.


a phrenetic person.

Origin of phrenetic

1325–75; < Latin phrenēticus < Late Greek phrenētikós, Greek phrenītikós frenzied (see phrenitis, -ic); replacing Middle English frenetike < Anglo-French < Latin as above; cf. frenetic
Related formsphre·net·i·cal·ly, adverbphre·net·ic·ness, nounnon·phre·net·ic, adjectivenon·phre·net·i·cal·ly, adverbsem·i·phre·net·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phrenetic

Historical Examples of phrenetic

  • Yet here I sit, as yet unimmolated on the altar of phrenetic vengeance.

    Hard Cash

    Charles Reade

  • He is a foolish physician that cannot bear the words of a phrenetic or delirant patient.

  • This was very new; it was also very strange what a fascination he found in his phrenetic exercises.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

British Dictionary definitions for phrenetic



an obsolete spelling of frenetic
Derived Formsphrenetically, adverbphreneticness, noun
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 phrenetic

late 14c., from Old French frenetike "mad, crazy" (13c.), from Latin phreneticus, from Greek phren "diaphragm, heart, mind" (see phreno-). A doublet of frantic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper