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

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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