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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
  • The dynamic was sometimes frenetic, always reactive.
  • No matter how frenetic and energy-filled the scene is, there still needs to be a moment among the frenzy.
  • If the big funds in effect own the market in aggregate, then frenetic trading activity is fruitless, even before costs.
  • The relationships forged during military service foster frenetic networking in civilian life.
  • And it is matched by an almost equally frenetic pace of change among commercial food companies.
  • The atmosphere at the station was nervous and frenetic.
  • And that's when the frenetic yet orderly routine of the emergency room began to break down.
  • The shoot got under way and had an impulsive, almost frenetic energy.
  • In its early stages, the painting was a flattened, frenetic composition of little squares.
  • Far away, in other leagues, the pace can often be too frenetic to be so calculating.
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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