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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English frensy, frenesie, from Old French frenesie, from Latin phrenesis, from Ancient Greek *φρένησις (*phrénēsis), a later equivalent of φρενῖτις (phrenîtis, inflammation of the brain): see frantic and frenetic.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɛnzi/
  • (file)


frenzy (countable and uncountable, plural frenzies)

  1. A state of wild activity or panic.
    She went into a cleaning frenzy to prepare for the unexpected guests.
    • 1983, Richard Ellis, The Book of Sharks, Knopf, →ISBN, page 170:
      It is during these frenzies that sharks have been known to bite everything in sight, including other sharks engaged in the same activity.
    • 1999, Linda Flavell, Roger Flavell, “1066[:] The Normans Begin to Erect Castles”, in dictionary of english down through the ages[:] words & phrases born out of historical events great & small, 2005 edition, London: Kyle Cathie Limited, →ISBN, page 17:
      The early years of Norman occupation saw a frenzy of castle building.
  2. A violent agitation of the mind approaching madness; rage.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



frenzy (comparative more frenzy, superlative most frenzy)

  1. (obsolete) Mad; frantic.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress:
      They thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head.


frenzy (third-person singular simple present frenzies, present participle frenzying, simple past and past participle frenzied)

  1. (uncommon) To render frantic.
    • 1833, James Anthony Froude, Fraser's Magazine - Volume 7[1], page 456:
      Both goaded on to strife by frenzying hate.
    • 1865, Gerrit Smith, Speeches and Letters of Gerrit Smith[2], page 14:
      Then there is the absorbing, not to say frenzying, interest, which attends our important elections.
  2. (rare) To exhibit a frenzy, such as a feeding frenzy.
    • 2009, Louise Southerden, Surf's Up: The Girl's Guide to Surfing[3], →ISBN:
      The fresh smell of salt air, the sound of the crashing swell, the soothing immersion in the water, the sight of dolphins playing and fish frenzying beneath my board.

Further reading[edit]