insanity

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

A three-part word (root 'sane', prefix 'in-' meaning 'not', suffix '-ity', meaning 'the state of'). Derived from Latin precursory equivalents. Two possible candidates for construction order:

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪnˈsænɪti/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

insanity (countable and uncountable, plural insanities)

  1. The state of being insane; madness.
    The defendant pleaded insanity in the hope of getting a reduced sentence.
    • 1837, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ethel Churchill, volume 3, page 271:
      But the bed-side of Lady Marchmont had a darker lesson than the grave, the ravings of insanity revealed the fiery world of that beating and passionate heart. Ethel could only feel too fearful, too humbled, for judgment; but she wept, even while she prayed, beside her early friend.

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