Definition of hectic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhektik/


1Full of incessant or frantic activity: a hectic business schedule
More example sentences
  • With a heavy inflow of pilgrims adding to the hectic business activity on the streets branching out from the temple, regulating traffic is not an easy task.
  • For a couple of hours there is hectic activity and on every side there are vigorous walkers and indefatigable joggers getting their morning exercise.
  • What with raucous classes and a year full of hectic lessons ahead, most teachers do not have time for the child with a problem, said many participants.
frantic, frenetic, frenzied, feverish, manic, busy, active, fast and furious, fast-paced;
lively, brisk, bustling, buzzing, abuzz
2 Medicine , archaic Relating to, affected by, or denoting a regularly recurrent fever typically accompanying tuberculosis, with flushed cheeks and hot, dry skin.
Example sentences
  • He likens the maladies of a state to the hectic fever.
  • He uses hectic fever as an analogy - as hectic fever is to the body, political maladies are to a state.
  • Within a year, however, he contracted and died of a hectic fever.


Medicine , archaic
A hectic fever or flush.
Example sentences
  • At the same time the irritative fever and hectic hitherto so much dreaded in large abscesses are, with perfect security, entirely avoided.



Pronunciation: /-tik(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • The fact that she is pressurised and hectically busy is no excuse, and the usual tribal claims that she is brilliant at her job should not be weighed in the balance where her wisdom - if not probity - is in question.
  • Now, looking at the horrendous pictures on television and participating hectically in the local efforts, it seems just a matter of chance that one survived.
  • Right now, though, I'm somewhat hectically getting caught up on the rest of my life, such as it is.


Late Middle English etik, via Old French from late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos 'habitual', from hexis 'habit, state of mind or body'. The original specific association with the symptoms of tuberculosis (hectic fever) gave rise to the early 20th-century sense 'characterized by feverish activity'.

  • This came via late Latin from Greek hektikos ‘habitual’. The original sense was ‘symptomatic of one's physical condition’ associated specifically with the symptoms of tuberculosis (known as hectic fever); this led in the early 20th century to the sense ‘characterized by feverish activity’.

Words that rhyme with hectic

apoplectic, catalectic, dialectic, eclectic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hec·tic

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