9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hek-tik] /ˈhɛk tɪk/
characterized by intense agitation, excitement, confused and rapid movement, etc.:
The week before the trip was hectic and exhausting.
Origin of hectic
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin hecticus < Greek hektikós habitual, consumptive, adj. corresponding to héxis possession, state, habit, equivalent to *hech-, base of échein to have + -sis -sis; see -tic; replacing Middle English etyk < Middle French
Related forms
hectically, hecticly, adverb
hecticness, noun
nonhectic, adjective
nonhectically, adverb
unhectic, adjective
unhectically, adverb
frantic, frenzied, wild, chaotic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hectic
  • Two words someone else would use to describe me are hectic and mildly amusing.
  • Some were slipping on the rocks, and a couple actually fell during the hectic start.
  • Then a character leads readers, page by page, through empty space to a door leading back into the hectic frenzy of lines.
  • Mondays are often hectic in the casket business, and today is no exception.
  • His schedule was always hectic.
  • The ability to engage in a cooperative campaign gives the game's hectic combat a welcome twist.
  • At any rate, Picasso seems to have come alive and felt a new freedom to comment on the increasingly hectic events of his life.
  • When I asked her about what happened, she told me that it was at the end of a very hectic week and she simply freaked out.
  • When a hectic schedule leaves no time for family fun, Sara decides to capture time itself.
  • Despite their hectic schedules, the two stayed in constant contact.
British Dictionary definitions for hectic


characterized by extreme activity or excitement
associated with, peculiar to, or symptomatic of tuberculosis (esp in the phrases hectic fever, hectic flush)
a hectic fever or flush
(rare) a person who is consumptive or who experiences a hectic fever or flush
Derived Forms
hectically, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos habitual, from hexis state, from ekhein to have
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 hectic

late 14c., etik (in fever etik), from Old French etique "consumptive," from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos "continuous, habitual, consumptive" (of a disease, because of the constant fever), from hexis "a habit (of mind or body)," from ekhein "have, hold, continue" (see scheme).

The Latin -h- was restored in English 16c. Sense of "feverishly exciting, full of disorganized activity" first recorded 1904, but hectic also was used in Middle English as a noun meaning "feverish desire, consuming passion" (early 15c.). Hectic fevers are characterized by rapid pulse, among other symptoms. Related: Hecticness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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