Share this entry
delirium Syllabification: de·lir·i·um
Pronunciation: /dəˈlirēəm/

Definition of delirium in English:


1An acutely disturbed state of mind that occurs in fever, intoxication, and other disorders and is characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech.
Example sentences
  • Schizophrenia is conventionally distinguished from the organic psychoses dementia and delirium by the absence of intellectual compromise.
  • The use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, or anticholinesterase inhibitors for insomnia related to delirium or dementia is also unproved.
  • Some affected people suffer mental disturbances such as delirium, hallucinations, and even psychotic behaviour.
derangement, dementia, madness, insanity;
incoherence, irrationality, hysteria, feverishness, hallucination
1.1Wild excitement or ecstasy.
Example sentences
  • Not only did the win send the home fans into state of rapturous delirium, but the achievement relieved the team's coach, who had looked tense during the final.
  • ‘The thrill, the mad delirium of being free is beyond description,’ he writes.
  • There's a floodlit stage and electronic band of ‘gruperos’ in transports of salsa-invoked delirium.
ecstasy, rapture, transports, wild emotion, passion, wildness, excitement, frenzy, feverishness, fever;
euphoria, elation


Mid 16th century: from Latin, from delirare 'deviate, be deranged' (literally 'deviate from the furrow'), from de- 'away' + lira 'ridge between furrows'.

  • This is a Latin word adopted into English, from the verb delirare ‘deviate, be deranged’. The literal meaning is ‘deviate from the furrow’, from de- ‘away’ and lira ‘a ridge between furrows’.

Words that rhyme with delirium

Definition of delirium 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.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources