What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[uh-muhk, uh-mok] /əˈmʌk, əˈmɒk/
(among members of certain Southeast Asian cultures) a psychic disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.
run / go amok. amuck (def 3).
Also, amuck.
Origin of amok
1865-70; < Malay amuk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amok
  • But more is needed to understand and significantly treat self-destructive behavior run amok.
  • There sure is a lot of ignorance running amok on these days.
  • My expectations have been raised to this ridiculous level by technology running amok through my heretofore-bucolic existence.
  • Changing the text of the author seems to me to be the height of arrogance and as others have said, an example of pc run amok.
  • The fence surrounding the small recreational area gives kids the freedom to run amok while staying safely in sight.
  • Another example of the thought patrol and the political correctness running amok.
  • Economists pretty much aimed to prevent inflation and unemployment from running amok.
  • Maybe that will keep the dogs from running amok with bones of contention.
  • Critics will consider your proposal an example of big government run amok.
  • When expertise is diminished to such an extent, irrationality and fear can run amok.
British Dictionary definitions for amok


/əˈmʌk; əˈmɒk/
a state of murderous frenzy, originally observed among Malays
run amok, to run about with or as if with a frenzied desire to kill
Word Origin
C17: from Malay amoq furious assault
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amok

in verbal phrase run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk "attacking furiously." Earlier the word was used as a noun or adjective meaning "a frenzied Malay," originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.

There are some of them [the Javanese] who ... go out into the streets, and kill as many persons as they meet. ... These are called Amuco. ["The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An Account of the Countries Bordering on the Indian Ocean and Their Inhabitants," c.1516, English translation]
Cf. amuck.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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