berserk

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj berserk frenzied as if possessed by a demon "the soldier was completely amuck","berserk with grief","a berserk worker smashing windows"
    • n berserk one of the ancient Norse warriors legendary for working themselves into a frenzy before a battle and fighting with reckless savagery and insane fury
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Berserk (Scand. Myth) One of a class of legendary heroes, who fought frenzied by intoxicating liquors, and naked, regardless of wounds.
    • Berserk One who fights as if frenzied, like a Berserker.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n berserk Same as berserker.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Berserk bėr′serk a Norse warrior whom the sight of the field of battle would fill with a frenzied and resistless fury—'the berserker rage.'
    • ***

Quotations

  • George Sheehan
    George Sheehan
    “If you want to win anything -- a race, your self, your life -- you have to go a little berserk.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Icel. berserkr,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ice. berserkr; Vigfusson explains the word as 'bear-sark,' and most probably a reference to the uncanny Werewolf superstition is involved.

Usage

In literature:

No, of course not; no more than they would arrest any wild animal who went berserk.
"The Happy Unfortunate" by Robert Silverberg
Battleprep is often referred to as a berserker state, but that is only partially correct.
"Concordance" by Ann Wilson
And they said: 'Is it true that Rolf Stake and his Berserks flee neither fire nor iron?
"The Red True Story Book" by Various
He looked, Rainey thought, like a blind Berserker, restrained only by his affliction.
"A Man to His Mate" by J. Allan Dunn
It's the safest and most retired place there is to have a Berserker rage in.
"The Lightning Conductor Discovers America" by C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
Fear of the unknown had changed the public into a myriad-souled beast gone berserk.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
Thereupon, half the female population ran after the berserk Martian.
"Mars Confidential" by Jack Lait
There was a Gisli then, and he had a quarrel with a berserker called Bjorn, and they agreed to fight until one was dead.
"Prisoners of Conscience" by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
And then Nangolat went berserk.
"The Golden Skull" by John Blaine
Then the Lockheed whipped up over on its back, dropped its nose and headed straight down like a meteor gone berserk.
"Dave Dawson at Casablanca" by Robert Sydney Bowen
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In poetry:

No Berserk thirst of blood had they,
No battle-joy was theirs, who set
Against the alien bayonet
Their homespun breasts in that old day.
"Lexington" by John Greenleaf Whittier
On the shining wall a vast
And shadowy cross was cast
From the hilt of the lifted sword,
And in foaming cups of ale
The Berserks drank "Was-hael!
To the Lord!"
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XII. -- King Olaf's Chri" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
At Drontheim, Olaf the King
Heard the bells of Yule-tide ring,
As he sat in his banquet-hall,
Drinking the nut-brown ale,
With his bearded Berserks hale
And tall.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XII. -- King Olaf's Chri" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And the Berserks round about
Broke forth into a shout
That made the rafters ring:
They smote with their fists on the board,
And shouted, "Long live the Sword,
And the King!"
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XII. -- King Olaf's Chri" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
O'er his drinking-horn, the sign
He made of the cross divine,
As he drank, and muttered his prayers;
But the Berserks evermore
Made the sign of the Hammer of Thor
Over theirs.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf XII. -- King Olaf's Chri" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In news:

Butcher -knife-wielding man goes berserk, fatally stabs health-care worker, officials say.
The kid(s) are going berserk, not listening, and not respecting your authority.
Gunman goes berserk, liberals call for gun control, regulation eventually ensues.
It's about a helpless group of victims on a southern plantation that one by one die at the hands of nature gone berserk.
Out of all of Austin's film festivals big and small, Fantastic Fest may be the most bizarre, beloved, and berserk.
Catholicism berserk in the Holy Land.
Who foots the bill when a council goes berserk.
JOGGERS in India must brave berserk dogs, crazy traffic, searing heat and a distinct absence of pavements.
Butcher- knife -wielding man goes berserk, fatally stabs health-care worker, officials say.
The Norwegian registerd yacht Berserk has gone missing in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
Billie Jo Armstrong went berserk when his set was cut short during iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas.
Now he's explaining why he went berserk.
Jet Blue Pilot Goes Berserk, Subdued .
Woman Goes Berserk With Ex-Husband's Stuff.
The very same secondary markets that went berserk after Goldman Sachs's investment valued the company at $50 billion.
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