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From Middle English madnes, madnesse; equivalent to mad +‎ -ness.



madness (countable and uncountable, plural madnesses)

  1. The state of being mad; insanity; mental disease.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:insanity
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 261, column 2:
      Though this be madneſſe, / Yet there is Method in 't: []
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, OCLC 246633669, PC, scene: Eden Prime:
      Shepard: What's wrong with your assistant?
      Dr. Warren: Manuel has a brilliant mind, but he's always been a bit... unstable. Genius and madness are two sides of the same coin.
      Dr. Manuel: Is it madness to see the future? To see the destruction rushing towards us? To understand there is no escape? No hope? No, I am not mad. I'm the only sane one left!
      Dr. Warren: I gave him an extra dose of his meds after the attack.
  2. The state of being angry.
  3. rash folly



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