• WordNet 3.6
    • n insanity relatively permanent disorder of the mind
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Insanity (Law) Such a mental condition, as, either from the existence of delusions, or from incapacity to distinguish between right and wrong, with regard to any matter under action, does away with individual responsibility.
    • Insanity The state of being insane; unsoundness or derangement of mind; madness; lunacy. "All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity .""Without grace
      The heart's insanity admits no cure."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n insanity A seriously impaired condition of the mental functions, involving the intellect, emotions, or will, or one or more of these faculties, exclusive of temporary states produced by and accompanying acute intoxications or acute febrile diseases. From the denotation of the word are also usually excluded mental defects resulting from arrested development and idiocy, and such conditions as simple trance, ecstasy, and catalepsy, and often senile dementia. The forms of mental disease are very varied, and no classification is universally accepted. The following is that of Krafft-Ebing (1888): A. Mental disease in the developed brain.
    • n insanity In its legal use, insanity consists in the lack of such mental soundness as renders a person criminally responsible, or capable of making a valid contract, conveyance, or will, or of managing his own affairs. There is great difference of opinion as to what extent of disease or imperfect development, and what, if any, aberrations of mind not traceable to disease or imperfection of the brain, should be regarded as constituting this degree of mental unsoundness. The tendency of legal opinion has long been to enlarge the scope of the word, and extend the rules as to insanity to derangements not recognized in earlier times, when insane was used as the equivalent of mad or lunatic, and insanity generally implied furor or mania, or, at least, obvious forms of total defect of responsible understanding. What constitutes legal insanity—that is, exonerative or incapacitating insanity—in doubtful cases is now universally regarded as depending upon the relation between the defect in the particular mind and the nature of the act in question. Thus, insanity, as a defense in criminal law, means, according to the rule in England and in many of the United States, incapacity to distinguish between right and wrong, in respect to the act in question, or incapacity to be conscious of acting contrary to law; while by some authorities inability to control the will (irresistible morbid impulse) also is recognized as insanity. Insanity in reference to the law of contracts is generally understood to mean such a defect as incapacitates from a rational assent, considering the nature of the contract, whether marriage, partnership, sale, etc. Insanity (or, as more commonly expressed, unsoundness of mind) in reference to the law of wills is generally understood to mean such a defect as incapacitates from knowing or collecting in mind the facts respecting the property to be disposed of and the persons naturally and justly to be considered in its disposal, or from making an intelligent and rational choice as to its disposal. It has often been defined too narrowly, as consisting only in delusion. It is a disputed question whether the existence of disease or defect in the brain itself is an essential fact. Some of those who hold that one or the other always characterizes insanity are understood to assert that the disease or defect may be inferred from the irrationality of conduct, without other independently adequate evidence.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Insanity want of sanity: an alteration in all or any of the functions of the brain, unfitting a man for affairs, and rendering him dangerous to himself and others: madness
    • ***


  • Sylvester Stallone
    Sylvester Stallone
    “I've been involved in something which was chaotic and insane. All I can say now is that I am, and intend to stay, a single man.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “He who feels no compassion will become insane.”
  • Mark Twain
    “The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”
  • William Dement
    William Dement
    “Dreaming permits each and everyone of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.”
  • Robert Welch
    Robert Welch
    “The whole country is one vast insane asylum and they're letting the worst patients run the place.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. insanitas, unsoundness; cf. insania, insanity, F. insanite,


In literature:

My companion, Billy Coon, was partially insane, and was no company at all.
"History of the Donner Party" by C.F. McGlashan
Why should that semi-insanity in Denzil's eyes disturb him?
"Carnac's Folly, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
If he is insane now, fight.
"A Terrible Temptation" by Charles Reade
Probably a place for mildly insane persons.
"Frank Roscoe's Secret" by Allen Chapman
Was he exhibiting ingratitude and insanity, or a truly wise and honest statesmanship?
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327" by Various
A love affair is emotional insanity.
"Happiness and Marriage" by Elizabeth (Jones) Towne
It was the novelist who, in literary and artistic matters, helped on the insanity which was gradually springing up in the Seguins' home.
"Fruitfulness Fecondite" by Emile Zola
Again, are not many predisposed toward insanity without ever becoming insane?
"The Positive School of Criminology" by Enrico Ferri
Till then, to talk of emancipation was insanity.
"The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the" by Thomas Clarkson
It was an insane thought, and I tried to laugh it away.
"The White Waterfall" by James Francis Dwyer

In poetry:

And then to die so, after all,
Insane and in a hospital,
Good God, suppose she had been sane
And we who had the rotten brain,
I hate to stand on Judgement day
Beside that woman old and gray.
"Carrie Nation" by Willard Wattles
Because while staying at a hotel in Spain
He appeared to the landlord to be a little insane.
And he noticed he was always seemingly in dread,
Like a person that had committed a murder and afterwards fled.
"Richard Pigott, the Forger" by William Topaz McGonagall
for we do not explain my husband's insane abuse
and we do not say why your wild-haired wife has fled
or that my father opened like a walnut and then was dead.
Your palms fold over me like knees. Love is the only use.
"Doors, Doors, Doors" by Anne Sexton
And the people answered, "You ask in vain;
We know of no king but Herod the Great!"
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, and who cannot wait.
"The Three Kings. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Fifth)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
O journeyer, deaf in the mould, insane
with violent travel & death: consider me
in my cast, your first son.
Would you were I by now another one,
witted, legged? I see you before me plain
(I am skilled: I hear, I see)—
"Dream Song 42: O journeyer, deaf in the mould, insane" by John Berryman
And like a dying lady, lean and pale, Who totters forth, wrapp'd in a gauzy veil,
Out of her chamber, led by the insane
And feeble wanderings of her fading brain,
The moon arose up in the murky East,
A white and shapeless mass—
"And like a Dying Lady, Lean and Pale" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

In news:

Oklahoma man accused in mother's slaying found not guilty by reason of insanity in Durant.
'Savages' combines violent insanity with novelistic feel.
Your Oct 12 Science Times article reminded me of a quote by the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens: "What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art".
Republican tax insanity becomes certifiable .
Bellevue has long been as much metaphor as hospital–the focal point for what we understand, and don't want to understand, about going insane.
In the pantheon of insane food mashups, this makes a burger with a Krispy Kreme donut as a bun seem downright tame.
What Happens To The Criminally Insane, After Court.
What should we do with Oregon's criminally insane.
If someone who was judged criminally insane moved in next door to you how would you react.
9 tips for insanely busy travelers.
The year of politicking insanely .
'A-Team' insanely fun and action-packed.
'My Story Is Insanely Insane '.
"Oh, my story is insanely insane ," he adds.
André Leon Talley Hopes Insanely High Heels Are Finally on the Way Out.

In science:

Ordered by the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim, to carry out this operation, he quickly perceived the insanity of what he was attempting to do, and retired in disgrace.
Astrometry during the past 2000 years
The priority contest of the insane has lasted over 50 years.
Physics Education Research: Or it's so hard to find good help these days