Meaning of “mad” in the English Dictionary

"mad" in British English

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uk /mæd/ us /mæd/ madder or maddest

mad adjective (MENTALLY ILL)

B1 mentally ill, or unable to behave in a reasonable way:

I think I must be going mad.
Do I look like some mad old woman in this hat?

More examples

  • He went mad towards the end of his life.
  • He started attacking his brother like a mad thing.
  • In those days, people with this condition were considered mad and kept locked away in mental institutions.
  • She used to hear voices in her head and everyone said she was mad.
  • Don't be silly - you're not mad, you're just over-stressed and need a break.

mad adjective (SILLY)

B1 UK informal US usually crazy extremely silly or stupid:

[ + to infinitive ] You're mad to walk home alone at this time of night.
He must be mad spending all that money on a coat.
Some of the things she does are completely mad.
See also

More examples

  • He described the new regulations as bureaucracy gone mad.
  • She must have been barking mad to lend him so much money.
  • I think you're (stark) raving mad to agree to do all that extra work without being paid for it.
  • You must be mad to go out in this weather.
  • I think you're mad to stay with her.

mad adjective (ANGRY)

A2 [ after verb ] informal very angry or annoyed:

He's always complaining and it makes me so mad.
mainly US Are you still mad at me?
UK Kerry got really mad with Richard for not doing the washing up.
UK Bill's untidiness drives me mad.

More examples

  • He followed the famous American dictum, 'Don't get mad, get even'.
  • He leaves dirty clothes all over the floor and it's driving me mad.
  • He was driving me mad, moping about the house all day.
  • It makes me mad when someone jumps the queue .
  • His untidiness sends her mad.

mad adjective (ENTHUSIASTIC)

be mad about sb/sth B1 informalUK

to love someone or something:

He's the first real boyfriend she's had and she's mad about him.
He's mad about football.
be mad for sb/sth UK informal

to want someone or something very much, or to be very interested in someone or something:

Everyone's mad for him and I just don't see the attraction.


uk / -mæd/ us / -mæd/ UK

(Definition of “mad” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"mad" in American English

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madadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /mæd/ -dd-

mad adjective [ -er/-est only ] (ANGRY)

angry or annoyed:

I get so mad at her I sometimes start screaming.

mad adjective [ -er/-est only ] (NOT CONTROLLED)

(of an activity) wild, fast, or excited and not well controlled:

We made a mad dash for the school bus.

mad adjective [ -er/-est only ] (ENTHUSIASTIC)

infml very enthusiastic and interested:

Jeanne’s mad about old Woody Allen movies.

mad adjective [ -er/-est only ] (MENTALLY ILL)

mentally ill, or unable to behave in a reasonable way; insane:

In his years as a prisoner of war, he often felt as if he might go mad.

(Definition of “mad” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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