Share this entry

madhouse Syllabification: mad·house
Pronunciation: /ˈmadˌhous/

Definition of madhouse in English:


1A mental institution.
Example sentences
  • As for Van Gogh, he was confined in a madhouse for one reason; he was a madman.
  • Written at the request of his father, the work focused on the abuses common in the madhouses of the time, and gave direction to the urgent need for reform.
  • One half of Customers and Patrons constitutes a transcription (with detailed annotation) of a case book of Dr John Monro, the physician to the Bethlem Asylum and the proprietor of several madhouses in the London region.
1.1 informal A psychiatric hospital.
Example sentences
  • The patients were held to basic standards of decent behavior and made to do chores in an environment more like a disciplined summer camp (or a well-run college group home) than a madhouse or hospital.
  • Inside, it smelled more like a madhouse than a clinic.
  • Agustín says he is leaving the madhouse for criminal lunatics before he becomes crazy too.
mental hospital, mental institution, psychiatric hospital, asylum
dated lunatic asylum
1.2 [in singular] informal A scene of extreme confusion or uproar: this place is a madhouse
More example sentences
  • You will work with Japanese teachers at your schools and the locations vary from extremely rural to the madhouse that is Tokyo.
  • The office of the Ayurveda Congress is a madhouse of activity.
  • The place is a madhouse and colorful beyond description.
bedlam, mayhem, chaos, pandemonium, an uproar, turmoil, disorder, madness, all hell broken loose, a (three-ring) circus, a zoo

Words that rhyme with madhouse

Windaus • cathouse

Definition of madhouse in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...