- 1 [mass noun] A scene of uproar and confusion: there was bedlam in the courtroomMore example sentences
- But somehow none of them expected that to happen, not after all the confused shouting and general bedlam which had followed those predawn bugle calls.
- The station became a scene of bedlam as if often does, with its small confines causing waiting outbound passengers to be in the way of arriving passengers.
- In a now familiar picture of bedlam, spectators and courtroom staff fled in terror and police descended in force upon the prisoners.
- 2 • archaic An institution for the care of mentally ill people.More example sentences
- Once, people were shut up in bedlams - usually indefinitely and in terrible conditions.
- Soviet dissidents were political heretics, and though they did not burn on the stake, they were sent to bedlams for their sins.
- They have been consulting on what to do with those who have severe personality disorders and they seem set to turn back the clock a century by locking them up in Bedlams and throwing away the key.
late Middle English: early form of Bethlehem, referring to the hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem in London, used as an institution for the insane.