Definition of amok in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈmək/
(also amuck)


(in phrase run amok)
Behave uncontrollably and disruptively: stone-throwing anarchists running amok figurative her feelings seemed to be running amok
More example sentences
  • Countries around the world are facing the problem of anarchists running amok.
  • Dozens of riot police ran amok in a housing complex here on Tuesday following a minor accident involving an officer and a local resident, leaving five people wounded.
  • Do staff members try to make up for the lack of rampaging aliens by occasionally running amok themselves?
go berserk, get out of control, rampage, riot, run riot, go on the rampage, behave like a maniac, behave wildly, behave uncontrollably, become violent, become destructive
informal raise hell, go postal


Mid 17th century: via Portuguese amouco, from Malay amok 'rushing in a frenzy'. Early use was as a noun denoting a Malay in a homicidal frenzy; the adverb use dates from the late 17th century.

  • If someone runs amok they rush about behaving uncontrollably and disruptively. The word amok comes via Portuguese from a Malay word amuk meaning ‘fighting furiously’ or ‘rushing in a frenzy’. It was first used in English in the 17th century, referring to a Malay person in a murderous frenzy after taking opium.

Words that rhyme with amok

ad hoc, Bangkok, baroque, belle époque, bloc, block, bock, brock, chock, chock-a-block, clock, doc, dock, floc, flock, frock, hock, hough, interlock, jock, knock, langue d'oc, lock, Locke, Médoc, mock, nock, o'clock, pock, post hoc, roc, rock, schlock, shock, smock, sock, Spock, stock, wok, yapok

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·mok

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