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[fran-tik] /ˈfræn tɪk/
desperate or wild with excitement, passion, fear, pain, etc.; frenzied.
Archaic. insane; mad.
Origin of frantic
1325-75; Middle English frantik, frenetik < Old French frenetique < Latin phrenēticus delirious < Greek phrenētikós. See frenzy, -tic
Related forms
frantically, franticly, adverb
franticness, noun
Can be confused
fanatic, frantic, frenetic (see synonym study at fanatic)
1. overwrought, agitated, frenzied, distraught. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for frantically
  • Most have spent the last three weeks frantically trying to locate missing students and faculty.
  • Distraught local people fished out the dead and searched frantically for survivors.
  • As he was frantically driven from show to show, his intake of alcohol and cigarettes skyrocketed.
  • Dismayed and exhausted, they had stopped yelling frantically for help.
  • From time to time some one frantically denounces the marking of books.
  • The government is now frantically approving new capacity-but it will be three or four years before this new power comes on stream.
  • Rescue workers, using microphones and fiber-optic cable to probe rubble, frantically are searching for trapped victims.
  • It scurries to the beach through a gauntlet of mature birds, dodging frantically whenever one snaps at it, which happens a lot.
  • The video then shows the crew frantically executing a series of evasive maneuvers.
  • In the early days there were the leaflets, thousands of frantically scribbled posters, created of the need to do something.
British Dictionary definitions for frantically


distracted with fear, pain, joy, etc
marked by or showing frenzy: frantic efforts
(archaic) insane
Derived Forms
frantically, franticly, adverb
franticness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French frenetique, from Latin phrenēticus mad, frenetic
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 frantically



mid-14c., "insane," unexplained variant of Middle English frentik (see frenetic). Transferred meaning "affected by wild excitement" is from late 15c. Of the adverbial forms, frantically (1749) is later than franticly (1540s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for frantically


  1. Excellent; wonderful; cool
  2. Conventional; bourgeois; uncool: The man who cares is now derided for being ''frantic'' (1940+ Jazz musicians)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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