from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by intense activity, confusion, or haste: "There was nothing feverish or hectic about his vigor” ( Erik Erikson).
  • adj. Medicine Of, relating to, or being a fever that fluctuates during the day, as in tuberculosis or septicemia.
  • adj. Consumptive; feverish.
  • adj. Flushed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a fever, pertaining to bodily reactions characterised by flushed or dry skin.
  • adj. Very busy with activity and confusion; feverish.
  • n. A hectic fever.
  • n. A flush like one produced by such a fever.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Habitual; constitutional; pertaining especially to slow waste of animal tissue, as in consumption
  • adj. In a hectic condition; having hectic fever; consumptive.
  • n. Hectic fever.
  • n. A hectic flush.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Habitual; marking a particular habit or condition of body: applied to fever of the form presented in phthisis, characterized by marked diurnal remissions and exacerbations, and accompanied with flushed cheeks, hot skin, and emaciation.
  • Pertaining to or affected with such fever; feverish; consumptive: as, a hectic flush.
  • n. A hectic fever; a wasting away, attended by heightened color.
  • n. A hectic flush.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by intense agitation or emotion


Middle English etik, recurring, consumptive, from Old French etique, from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos, from hexis, habit, from ekhein, to be in a certain condition; see segh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French etique, from Medieval Latin *hecticus, from Ancient Greek έκτικός (ektikos, "habitual, hectic, consumptive"), from έξις (exis, "a state or habit of body or of mind, condition"), from έξειν (exein, "to have, hold, intransitive be in a certain state"). (Wiktionary)



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