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violently or destructively frenzied; wild; crazed; deranged:
He suddenly went berserk.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Scandinavian Legend.. Also, berserker. an ancient Norse warrior who fought with frenzied rage in battle, possibly induced by eating hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Contemporary Examples

How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation William O’Connor September 16, 2014

Historical Examples

The Vinland Champions Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
The Trail of ’98 Robert W. Service
Cornish Characters S. Baring-Gould
The Long Roll Mary Johnston
The Protector Harold Bindloss
Joan of Arc of the North Woods Holman Day
Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature, Vol. II (of 6): The Romantic School in Germany Georg Brandes
Ned, the son of Webb William O. Stoddard
Woman William J. Robinson

frenziedly violent or destructive (esp in the phrase go berserk)
Also called berserker. a member of a class of ancient Norse warriors who worked themselves into a frenzy before battle and fought with insane fury and courage

Thorkelin, in the essay on the Berserkir, appended to his edition of the Krisini Saga, tells that an old name of the Berserk frenzy was hamremmi, i.e., strength acquired from another strange body, because it was anciently believed that the persons who were liable to this frenzy were mysteriously endowed, during its accesses, with a strange body of unearthly strength. If, however, the Berserk was called on by his own name, he lost his mysterious form, and his ordinary strength alone remained. [“Notes and Queries,” Dec. 28, 1850]

The adjectival use probably is from such phrases as berserk frenzy, or as a title (Arngrim the Berserk).


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