New English words to learn, What is the adjective “Frenetic”?

by Dec 29, 2018English Vocabulary

Suparno Bhattachayrra

Suparno Bhattachayrra

Community Writer (India)

    • Leadership strengths (Level 13)
    • Community Writer(Level 3)


Do you know the history and correct usage of the uncommon English word “Frenetic”?


New English words to learn, What is Frenetic? Fathom  is an adjective and pronounce as “frih-NET-ik”.

Definition :

marked by excitement, disorder, or anxiety-driven activity : frenzied, frantic

Frenetic Origin:


When life gets frenetic, things can seem absolutely insane—at least that seems to be what folks in the Middle Ages thought.

Frenetik, in Middle English, meant “insane.” When the word no longer denoted stark raving madness, it conjured up fanatical zealots.

Today, its seriousness has been downgraded to something more akin to “hectic.” But if you trace frenetic back through Anglo-French and Latin, you’ll find that it comes from Greek phrenitis, a term describing inflammation of the brain. Phren, the Greek word for “mind,” is a root you will recognize in schizophrenic.

As for frenzied and frantic, they’re not only synonyms of frenetic but relatives as well. Frantic comes from frenetik, and frenzied traces back to phrenitis.

Frenetic Examples:


  • After keeping up a frenetic pace trying to keep up with classes, work, and family, Marcy felt like she was on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
  • My husband doesn’t go to a movie unless it is full of the frenetic action of car chases, mob scenes, fights, and intense special effects.
  • Yesterday the sales floor was even more frenetic than usual because of the big clearance sale.
  • Although most people believe that the celebrity couple maintains a frenetic lifestyle, all the stories are pure publicity schemes.
  • After two hours of frenetic frolic, the puppies finally curled up in a ball for a nap.

Thank you,

Suparno Bhattachayrra

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