talking wildly; delirious; frenzied: a raving maniac.
Informal. extraordinary or remarkable: a raving beauty.


furiously or wildly: a remark that made me raving mad.


Usually ravings.
  1. irrational, incoherent talk: Putting him in a straitjacket did not stop his ravings.
  2. wildly extravagant or outrageous talk; bombast.

Origin of raving

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at rave1, -ing2, -ing1
Related formsrav·ing·ly, adverbun·rav·ing, adjective



verb (used without object), raved, rav·ing.

to talk wildly, as in delirium.
to talk or write with extravagant enthusiasm: She raved about her trip to Europe.
(of wind, water, storms, etc.) to make a wild or furious sound; rage.

verb (used with object), raved, rav·ing.

to utter as if in madness.


an act of raving.
an extravagantly enthusiastic appraisal or review of something.
Chiefly British Slang. a boisterous party, especially a dance.


extravagantly flattering or enthusiastic: rave reviews of a new play.

Origin of rave

1325–75; 1915–25 for def 2; Middle English raven (v.), probably < Middle French resver to wander, be delirious
Related formsrav·er, noun

Synonyms for rave

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for raving

Contemporary Examples of raving

Historical Examples of raving

  • We put him to bed, and in a short time he wakened, raving with a fever on his brain.

  • If I had pursued the matter, who knows but I might have been a raving maniac by this time.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Coupeau was a raving madman, the same as one sees at the Charenton mad-house!


    Emile Zola

  • He was manacled and guarded as though he were a raving madman.

  • Mary began to feel that she, too, was in danger of raving distraction.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for raving



  1. delirious; frenzied
  2. (as adverb)raving mad
informal (intensifier)a raving beauty


(usually plural) frenzied, irrational, or wildly extravagant talk or utterances
Derived Formsravingly, adverb




to utter (something) in a wild or incoherent manner, as when mad or delirious
(intr) to speak in an angry uncontrolled manner
(intr) (of the sea, wind, etc) to rage or roar
(intr ; foll by over or about) informal to write or speak (about) with great enthusiasm
(intr) British slang to enjoy oneself wildly or uninhibitedly


  1. enthusiastic or extravagant praise
  2. (as modifier)a rave review
British slang
  1. Also called: rave-upa party
  2. a professionally organized party for young people, with electronic dance music, sometimes held in a field or disused building
British slang a fad or fashionthe latest rave
a name given to various types of dance music, such as techno, that feature fast electronic rhythm

Word Origin for rave

C14 raven, apparently from Old French resver to wander




a vertical sidepiece on a wagon

Word Origin for rave

C16: modification of dialect rathe, of uncertain origin
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 raving

late 15c., "delirious, frenzied," present participle adjective from rave (v.); sense of "remarkable, fit to excite admiration" is from 1841, hence slang superlative use.



early 14c., "to show signs of madness or delirium," from Old French raver, variant of resver "to dream; wander here and there, prowl; behave madly, be crazy," of unknown origin (cf. reverie). The identical (in form) verb meaning "to wander, stray, rove" first appeared c.1300 in Scottish and northern dialect, and is probably from an unrelated Scandinavian word (cf. Icelandic rafa). Sense of "talk enthusiastically about" first recorded 1704. Related: Raved; raving.



"act of raving," 1590s, from rave (v.). Meaning "temporary popular enthusiasm" is from 1902; that of "highly flattering review" is from 1926. Sense of "rowdy party" is from 1960; rave-up was British slang for "wild party" from 1940; specific modern sense of "mass party with loud, fast electronic music and often psychedelic drugs" is from 1989.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with raving


see rant and rave; stark raving mad.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.