When a mother loses her child, she's frantic. She's a crazed sort of agitated and goes on a frantic search for her child. A scene is frantic if there's lots of action with little order.

Frantic is related to frenzy and both were originally ways to describe mental illness. Hundreds of years ago, if you were frantic, you were stark raving mad. Today, frantic implies fast wild movements or a desperate attempt to do something. On Christmas Eve, the scene at the mall was frantic with shoppers desperately searching for their last few gifts. And a wild party would only be called frantic if the police were called and everyone rushed to get away.

Definitions of frantic

adj marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion

“something frantic in their gaiety”
delirious, excited, mad, unrestrained
marked by extreme lack of restraint or control

adj excessively agitated; distraught with fear or other violent emotion

frantic with anger and frustration”
frenetic, frenzied, phrenetic
troubled emotionally and usually deeply

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