From Middle English madly, madli, medliche, equivalent to mad +‎ -ly.



madly (comparative madlier or more madly, superlative madliest or most madly)

  1. In a mad manner; without reason or understanding; wildly.
    I'm madly in love with you.
    • 1854, George Lippard, New York: Its Upper Ten and Lower Million - Issue 2, E. Mendenhall, page 122:
      But his cries were heard, as he madly grappled with the knives which stabbed him.
    • 1861, Henry Theodore Tuckerman, The Rebellion, Its Latent Causes and True Significance: In ..., J.G. Gregory, page 23:
      If Austria had not madly invaded Piedmont in 1859, France could not have fought. If, the Pope had not been madly obstinate in rejecting the reforms pressed on him by France, he must have been sustained as a temporal ruler.
    • 1878, Benjamin Ward Richardson, The Temperance Lesson Book: A Series of Short Lessons on Alcohol and Its Action on the Body. Designed for Reading in Schools and Families, National Temperance Society and Publication House, page 266:
      It is the fact that, for the time, he is bereft of his senses; he is a man who has gone mad. He spends his money madly, he treats his friends madly, he treats himself madly. Those who would love him best if he were not mad are now afraid of him, and often hide themselves from him, and well they may. For this man, in his madness, may hurt them, strike them, kill them.
    • 1879, Francis Beaumont, The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher: The Text Formed from a New Collation of the Early Editions, Volume 1, D. Appleton, page 350:
      Consider, for the love of Heaven, to what you run madly: will you take this viper into your bed?


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for madly in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of madli