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From bedlam +‎ -ite, in reference to the Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem, a former London institution for the insane.


bedlamite (plural bedlamites)

  1. (obsolete) A lunatic.
    • 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, chapter 35, in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle [], volume I, London: Harrison and Co., [], published 1781, →OCLC:
      [S]he cursed him with the bitterest imprecations, and raved like a Bedlamite at the door, which she attempted to burst open.
    • 1808–10, William Hickey, Memoirs of a Georgian Rake, Folio Society 1995, p. 91:
      Upon coming to the edge of the outer surf, the man at the stern of our boat, steering with a long oar, began to stamp his feet and roar like a bedlamite [] .
    • 1938, Norman Lindsay, Age of Consent, 1st Australian edition, Sydney, N.S.W.: Ure Smith, published 1962, →OCLC, page 195:
      Bradly stood listening to the old woman's squalling, resenting its note of febrile violence; its bedlamite insolence of old age.