madder definition by Webster's New World
- any of a genus (Rubia) of plants of the madder family, with petals fused to form a funnel-shaped corolla; esp., a perennial vine (R. tinctorum) with panicles of small, yellow flowers
- the red root of this vine
- a red dye made from this
- bright red; crimson
Origin: Middle English mader ; from Old English mædere, akin to Old Norse mathra, Norwegian modra ; from Indo-European base an unverified form modhro-, dye plant from source Czech modrý, blue
madder definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A southwest Asian perennial plant (Rubia tinctorum) having small yellow flowers, whorled leaves, and a red root.b. The root of this plant, formerly an important source of the dye alizarin.c. A red dye obtained from the roots of this plant.
- A medium to strong red or reddish orange.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English mǽdere.
Variant of mad
- mentally ill; insane
- wildly excited or disorderly; frenzied; frantic: mad with fear
- showing or resulting from lack of reason; foolish and rash; unwise: a mad scheme
- blindly and foolishly enthusiastic or fond; infatuated: to be mad about clothes
- wildly amusing; hilarious: a mad comedy
- having rabies: a mad dog
- angry or provoked: often with at
- showing or expressing anger
Origin: Middle English madd, aphetic ; from Old English gemæd, past participle of (ge)mædan, to make mad, akin to Gothic gamaiths, crippled, Old Saxon gimēd, foolish ; from Indo-European an unverified form mait- ; from base an unverified form mai-, to hew, cut off from source Gothic maitan, to hew, Classical Greek mitylos, dehorned