Manic Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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You may have heard the word manic in a conversation or online. It’s one of those words that has an important meaning and is used frequently — sometimes out of context. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to stay in the dark about what it truly means. 

In reality, the word manic is a bit difficult to understand. It’s a complex mental state that has some associations with mental health and the world of psychology. And using this word requires a good understanding of what it means, lest you risk inadvertently misleading people.

With that in mind, the word of the day is manic. After this quick guide, you’ll understand the word manic, its definition, where it came from, and how to really use it. 

What’s the Definition of the Word Manic?

The word manic, pronounced ˈmænɪk, is a little difficult to understand because of the different contexts in which you can use it. In a casual conversation, the word can mean one thing, but it has far more serious implications in a medical context. Here are the different definitions of the word manic for each context. 


  • Excited and/or anxious behavior characterized by lots of physical activity and franticness


  • Of or relating to mania, a drastic change in behavior characterized by fast-talking, lack of a need for sleep, being distracted, impulsivity, racing thoughts, elevated mood, and feelings of grandiose

When the average person uses the word manic, they are most likely describing the behavior of somebody who is very excited or hyper. A manic person might feel a little extra productive and be excitedly fixating on productive tasks. 

Mania in Psychiatry and Medicine

However, when it comes to the medical world, the word manic is a medical condition with several potential implications and is a much more serious phrase. A manic episode, for example, is a period of mania that lasts for a week or more. 

There is also a common mental illness: manic depression, also called bipolar disorder. This is a version of depression characterized by extreme emotional highs and lows, or depressive episodes followed by a manic phase. 

This is slightly different than another medical event called hypomania. Hypomania is a lesser version of mania that doesn’t impair social functioning and only has to last for four days rather than seven. 

In rare, severe cases of mania, a person can enter a type of psychosis where they experience delusions, psychotic symptoms, and even hallucinations.

Types and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The first type of bipolar disorder is bipolar I disorder. Bipolar I is diagnosed when somebody experiences a manic episode. Episodes of mania can make you feel like you’re on top of the world or have an irritable mood. Still, it can increase your energy levels or even cause a euphoric feeling.

Bipolar I is sometimes, but not always, followed by depressive or hypomanic episodes. But people with bipolar I also experience periods of a neutral mood. 

The next type is bipolar II disorder. To be diagnosed with bipolar II, you must have at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode. After the symptoms of mania or depression have subsided, normal functioning resumes. 

Both types of bipolar are treated similarly by mental health professionals. Psychotherapy, mood stabilizers like lithium, antidepressants, and sometimes antipsychotics are used to treat this mood disorder. On rare occasions, the intense mania or depression could require hospitalization. 

Where Did the Word Manic Come From?

Let’s take a quick look at the history of the word manic to bring a little more clarity as to what this word means and how to use it. 

Manic is the fusion of the word mania and the suffix -ic. The word mania is taken directly from Latin, and the Latin word mania was taken directly from Greek. The Greek mania means “madness, frenzy, fury.” This is also where we get the English word maniac and maniacal. 

In the 14th century, the word mania made its way into Middle English, where doctors used it to diagnose somebody who was mentally deranged, excited, and delusional. In the early 20th century, the word manic was coined as an adjective to refer to things relating to mania. 

What Are Some Examples of the Word Manic in a Sentence?

Here are a few quick example sentences that utilize the word manic.

I was feeling manic today, so I cleaned the entire house! 

I don’t know what her deal is, but she’s being totally manic, talking a million miles an hour and bouncing off the walls. 

The manic shoppers rushed through the doors on Black Friday to make the best use of the great deals possible. 

After my last manic episode, my family members and loved ones urged me to see a doctor to see if I had a mental health condition. 

I didn’t know I had been manic until I experienced a major depressive episode, and that’s when my doctor diagnosed me with bipolar II. 

What Are Synonyms of Manic?

Here’s a quick list of some synonyms for the word manic

  • Frenzied
  • Insane
  • Maniacal
  • Crazed
  • Hopped up
  • Raving
  • Overexcited
  • Nutty

What Are Manic’s Antonyms?

Here are some antonyms of the word manic. 

  • Sane
  • Calm
  • Composed


The word manic can be confusing because of its duality as a casual word and a medical one, but now you can tell the difference between the two. Use the word manic confidently in your writing and your conversation. And if you need a refresher on the word manic or mania, read this article again for the necessary information. 


Mania | PubMed  

MANIC | Cambridge English Dictionary 

What Are Bipolar Disorders? | American Psychiatric Association