Bedlam



a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion.
Archaic. an insane asylum or madhouse.
Contemporary Examples

Casa Bruja is a diamond in the rough, a refuge among all this bedlam.
House of the Witch: The Renegade Craft Brewers of Panama Jeff Campagna November 29, 2014

Historical Examples

bedlam, uproar, chaos; and all this half concealed by a veil of whirling dust.
Empires and Emperors of Russia, China, Korea, and Japan Pter Vay

Well, go on drinking and you will end in bedlam instead of the workhouse.
The Man Who Lost Himself H. De Vere Stacpoole

Mad—quite mad—go to bedlam—strait waistcoat—head shaved—and so on.
Japhet in Search of a Father Frederick Marryat

You cannot get me into bedlam, all-powerful, all-artful as you are.
Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

I did not feel as if I were a lost soul in a bedlam of demons.
The Ship Dwellers Albert Bigelow Paine

She swam away in the bedlam of shrieks and clattering of dishes and knives.
Melomaniacs James Huneker

And the poet proceeds with a minute picture of “bedlam beggars.”
Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) Isaac Disraeli

Say, I wonder if there’s any one out in this bedlam of a night?
The Trail of ’98 Robert W. Service

It is not known exactly when lunatics were first received into bedlam, but some were there in 1403.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 14, Slice 5 Various

noun
a noisy confused place or situation; state of uproar: his speech caused bedlam
(archaic) a lunatic asylum; madhouse
n.

“scene of mad confusion,” 1660s, from colloquial pronunciation of “Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem” in London, founded 1247 as a priory, mentioned as a hospital 1330 and as a lunatic hospital 1402; converted to a state lunatic asylum on dissolution of the monasteries in 1547. It was spelled Bedlem in a will from 1418, and Betleem is recorded as a spelling of Bethlehem in Judea from 971.

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