Amok



(among members of certain Southeast Asian cultures) a psychic disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.
.
run / go amok. (def 3).
Contemporary Examples

They had her give the weather update, and even let her mangle the word “amok.”
The 6 Craziest Carrie Prejean Moments The Daily Beast Video November 11, 2009

Historical Examples

Much has been written concerning the acts of homicidal mania called amuck (amok), which word in the vernacular means to attack.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 17, Slice 4 Various

These unfortunates were sometimes attacked by the amok frenzy.
Philippine Progress Prior to 1898 Various

Adī pay, amok di anap, ut amui kayo ūnda agou un Boan tan daeda dimangamo si anap.
Kankanay Ceremonies C. R. Moss

It is as well that the amok has no weapons other than his knife.
Sjambak John Holbrook Vance

Such is the “amok” of the Malays—a sort of furious and imitative madness perhaps provoked at the same time by suggestion.
The Races of Man Joseph Deniker

Placido was by this time under the influence of the amok, as the Malayists say.
The Reign of Greed Jose Rizal

What if that man should take umbrage at some fancied slight to his honour or disregard of his affections and suddenly “amok”?
Almayer’s Folly Joseph Conrad

Alive, yet dead, he lay there, much as the amok Malay of fifty years before had lain upon the deck of the Silver Fleece.
Cursed George Allan England

noun
a state of murderous frenzy, originally observed among Malays
adverb
run amok, to run about with or as if with a frenzied desire to kill
adv.

in verbal phrase run amok first recorded 1670s, from Malay amuk “attacking furiously.” Earlier the word was used as a noun or adjective meaning “a frenzied Malay,” originally in the Portuguese form amouco or amuco.

There are some of them [the Javanese] who … go out into the streets, and kill as many persons as they meet. … These are called Amuco. [“The Book of Duarte Barbosa: An Account of the Countries Bordering on the Indian Ocean and Their Inhabitants,” c.1516, English translation]

Cf. amuck.

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