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berserk Line breaks: ber|serk
Pronunciation: /bəˈzəːk/

Definition of berserk in English:


Out of control with anger or excitement; wild or frenzied: a man went berserk with an arsenal of guns
More example sentences
  • After the match a section of the spectators went berserk and pandemonium raged.
  • A drunken holidaymaker who went berserk on a plane during a fit of air rage was today beginning a two-year jail sentence.
  • They went berserk, insane when the prices fell.
enraged, raging, out of control, uncontrollable, amok, on the rampage
informal off one's head, up the wall, through the roof, off the deep end, ape, bananas, bonkers, mental, barmy, nutty, nuts, bats, batty, hyper
British informal spare, crackers
North American informal postal
Australian/New Zealand informal crook, berko
vulgar slang apeshit


Early 19th century (originally as a noun denoting an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild or uncontrolled ferocity): from Old Norse berserkr (noun), probably from birn-, bjorn (see bear2) + serkr 'coat', but also possibly from berr 'bare' (i.e. without armour).

  • A berserker was an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild, uncontrolled ferocity—he went berserk. The name came from an old Scandinavian word, berserkr, which probably meant ‘bear coat’ or ‘bearskin’, a suitably rugged garment for a terrifyingly unhinged Viking. An alternative possibility is that the first element is the equivalent of ‘bare’, referring to fighting without armour. The phrase to go berserk is first recorded in 1896.

Words that rhyme with berserk

berk, Burke, cirque, dirk, Dunkirk, erk, irk, kirk, lurk, mirk, murk, outwork, perk, quirk, shirk, smirk, stirk, Turk, work
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