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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She fought it frantically, striving to think, and to think clearly.

    The White Moll Frank L. Packard
  • He opened his mouth to shout a question, but she frantically signaled for silence.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • For hours after he reached his room in the hotel he paced it frantically.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • "A Mr. Hadley frantically telephoning, sir," he said to Jeter.

    Lords of the Stratosphere Arthur J. Burks
  • Nan, standing by the kitchen door, frantically signaled me to join her.

    The Scapegoat Richard Maples
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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