A Dictionary of the English Language
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Mad (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1240

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1240

Mad. adj. [ʒemaad, Saxon; matto, Italian.]

  1. Disordered in the mind; broken in the understanding; distracted.

    Alack, Sir, he is mad.
    — 'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

                              The poets sung,
    Thy mother from the sea was sprung;
    But they were mad to make thee young.
    Denham.

    We must bind our passions in chains, lest like mad-folks they break their locks and bolts, and do all the mischief they can. Taylor's Worthy Communicant.

    A bear, enrag'd at the stinging of a bee, ran like mad into the bee-garden, and over-turn'd all the hives. L'Estrange.

    Madmen ought not to be mad;
    But who can help his frenzy?
    Dryden's Span. Fryar.

  2. Over-run with any violent or unreasonable desire; with on, after, of, perhaps better for, before the object of desire.

    It is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. Jer. l. 38.

    The world is running mad after farce, the extremity of bad poetry, or rather the judgment that is fallen upon dramatick writing. Dryden's Pref. to Cleomenes.

    The people are not so very mad of acorns, but that they could be content to eat the bread of civil persons. Rymer.

  3. Enraged; furious.

    Holy writ represents St. Paul as making havock of the church, and persecuting that way unto the death, and being exceedingly mad against them. Decay of Piety.

Sources: Allestree, Richard (89) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Jeremiah (13) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Rymer, Thomas (3) · Taylor, Jeremy (57)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Mad (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 7, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2566.


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