adjective (madder, maddest)
- The reader isn't expected to take anything on faith or invest belief in any seemingly mad ideas, which is probably just the right tone for this sort of introductory book.
- When I visited her, I saw notebooks full of her mad ideas.
- There's no secret code or literary illusion, there's just his own mad thoughts on a page.
- Lela looked up, trying to hide her amusement as they saw Stasia, obviously driven mad with jealousy and defeat, throwing random sculptures at the two.
- Everyone in the paper ticket line makes a mad dash back to the kiosks.
- The dance started at seven so there was a mad scramble to get ready.
- Now don't be mad with me, because it's not entirely my fault that this is happening.
- If you put in the wrong directions, people get quite mad at you.
- How could I be mad at you for defending yourself?
- This is the ‘furious’ form of rabies, the kind traditionally associated with mad dogs.
- I don't have a nail gun but I've used one from a local shop to knock together a gate and a retaining wall that didn't restrain Holly the mad dog.
- Then the restrained growl of a mad dog found its way past her curled lips, rasping at the stranger before her who hadn't flinched.
- When it comes to sports, India is mad about cricket.
- Peter was extremely proud of his children and very happy with Kayce, who took care of him, who protected him, who was just mad about him.
- With every sigh, I become more mad about you, more lost without you.
- The finale to our visit came the very next evening when we were taken on a VIP visit to the Regency Casino for a mad night of wild abandon at the slot machines.
- In the audience it was both a mad mayhem of frenetic bouncing and a sea of staring faces intrigued and in awe.
- I had a sudden uncontrollable desire to be in some mad city on the other side of the world again.
verb (mads, madding, madded)[with object] archaic Back to top
Old English gemǣd(e)d 'maddened', participial form related to gemād 'mad', of Germanic origin.
In English mad has always meant ‘insane’. In extreme cases a person can be as mad as a hatter or as mad as a March hare. The comparison with hatters has a sound scientific basis: in the past some hatters really did become mentally ill. Felt hats were made from fur, and one of the processes in their manufacture involved brushing a solution of mercurous nitrate on to the fur to make the fibres mat together. As a result of inhaling the mercury fumes some hat-makers suffered from mercury poisoning, which can produce symptoms such as confused speech, hallucinations, and loss of memory. The phrase was around in the 1830s, but from 1865 it was popularized by the Mad Hatter, one of the characters in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. As mad as a March hare arose from the excitable behaviour of hares at the beginning of the breeding season.
‘Mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ was how Lady Caroline Lamb described the poet Lord Byron after their first meeting at a ball in 1812. Byron was a dashing figure whose name gave rise to the adjective Byronic for a man who is alluringly dark, mysterious, and moody. ‘ Mad Dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the midday sun’ is the beginning of a 1931 song by the English dramatist, actor, and composer Noël Coward. The word madding is a rather poetic way of saying ‘acting madly’. It is most familiar through the phrase far from the madding crowd, ‘private or secluded’. Many will associate it with the title of one of Thomas Hardy's classic novels, but Hardy took the title from a line in Thomas Gray's poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard’, published in 1751: ‘Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife’. Mad scientists have been with us since the 1940s, but mad cow disease for bovine spongiform encephalopathy only since the 1980s.
- informal With great intensity, energy, or enthusiasm: I ran like madMore example sentences
- My eyes are hurting like mad, this means I will probably have a cold soon.
- On Saturday morning every bone and muscle was hurting like mad but we still had to soldier on.
- The two looked at each other for a second, then fired like crazy and ran like mad.
(as) mad as a hatter
- informal Completely insane.[Popularized with reference to Lewis Carroll's character the Hatter in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), although the phrase was first recorded in the 1820s; the allusion is to the effects of mercury poisoning from the former use of mercurous nitrate in the manufacture of felt hats]Example sentences
- She's mad as a hatter but that bunch of loonies will love her.
- ‘He is as mad as a hatter and in to everything,’ said friend Lesley Gill, who used to work with Brian in the Newbridge branch of Dunnes Stores.
- As long as you temper your unrestrained approach to life with occasional periods of sanity - and do your best not to get arrested - it's completely acceptable to be as mad as a hatter.