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[fruh-net-ik] /frəˈnɛt ɪk/
frantic; frenzied.
Also, frenetical, phrenetic, phrenetical.
Origin of frenetic
1350-1400; Middle English; see frantic
Related forms
frenetically, adverb
nonfrenetic, adjective
nonfrenetically, adverb
Can be confused
fanatic, frantic, frenetic (see synonym study at fanatic) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for frenetic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He lit the cigarette, took a puff that made the smoke do a frenetic dance around his nostrils.

    The Very Black Dean Evans
  • It is here worth noticing that Siena, the city of civil discord, was also the city of frenetic piety.

    Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) John Addington Symonds
  • Everywhere was joy, gain, revelry; everywhere certainty of the morrow's bread; everywhere the frenetic outbursts of vitality.

  • He had the unwholesome, frenetic aspect of the patent medicine enthusiast, not uncommon in the North.

    Two on the Trail Hulbert Footner
  • And the toy flag there floated where he raised it aloft, "frenetic," as Browning says, "to be free."

British Dictionary definitions for frenetic


distracted or frantic; frenzied
Derived Forms
frenetically, adverb
freneticness, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French frenetique from Latin phrenēticus, from Greek phrenētikos, from phrenitis insanity, from phrēn mind
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 frenetic

late 14c., from Old French frenetike, from Latin phreneticus "delirious," alteration of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis "frenzy," literally "inflammation of the brain," from phren "mind, reason" (from PIE *gwhren- "to think") + -itis. The classical ph- was restored mid-16c. Related: Frenetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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frenetic in Medicine

frenetic fre·net·ic or phre·net·ic (frə-nět'ĭk)
Wildly excited or active; frantic; frenzied.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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