- The definition of insanity is having a serious mental illness or being extremely foolish.
- An example of insanity is a personality disorder.
- An example of insanity is jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.
- the state of being insane; mental illness or derangement, usually excluding amentia: not a technical term
- Law any form or degree of mental derangement or unsoundness of mind, permanent or temporary, that makes a person incapable of what is regarded legally as normal, rational conduct or judgment: it usually implies a need for hospitalization
- great folly; extreme senselessness
Origin of insanityClassical Latin insanitas ; from insanus
- Severe mental illness or derangement. Not used in psychiatric diagnosis.
- Law a. Unsoundness of mind sufficient to render a person unfit to maintain a contractual or other legal relationship or sufficient to warrant commitment to a mental health facility.b. Incapacity to form the criminal intent necessary for legal responsibility, as when a mental disorder prevents a person from knowing the difference between right and wrong.c. Incapacity because of a mental disorder to participate adequately as a defendant in criminal proceedings or to understand the imposition of a criminal punishment, particularly the death penalty.
- a. Extreme foolishness or irrationality: “The insanity of sending troops into Russia when European peace looked imminent horrified him” (Mary V. Dearborn).b. Something that is extremely foolish, distinctly irrational, or wildly excited: “twisted forms of musical insanity” (Christopher J. Kelter).
A three-part word (root 'sane', prefix 'in-' meaning 'not', suffix '-ity', meaning 'the state of'). Derived from Latin precursory equivalents. Two possible candidates for construction order:
- "insane+-ity": insānus (“unhealthy; insane”) + -itās
- Latin insānus (“unsound in mind; mad, insane”), from in- + sanus (“sound, sane”). Modern forms of roots: in- + sane
- "in- + sanity": in-- (“healthy; sane”) + sanitās.
- Latin sanitās (“sound in mind; sane”), from sānus (“healthy; sane”) + -itās. Modern forms of roots: sane + -ity
insanity - Legal Definition