- craze (v.)
- late 14c., crasen, craisen "to shatter, crush, break to pieces," probably Germanic and perhaps ultimately from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse *krasa "shatter"), but entering English via an Old French crasir (compare Modern French écraser). Original sense preserved in crazy quilt pattern and in reference to cracking in pottery glazing (1815). Mental sense (by 1620s) perhaps comes via transferred sense of "be diseased or deformed" (mid-15c.), or it might be an image. Related: Crazed; crazing.
... there is little assurance in reconciled enemies: whose affections (for the most part) are like unto Glasse; which being once cracked, can neuer be made otherwise then crazed and vnsound. [John Hayward, "The Life and Raigne of King Henrie the IIII," 1599]
- craze (n.)
- late 15c., "break down in health," from craze (v.) in its Middle English sense; this led to a noun sense of "mental breakdown," and by 1813 to the extension to "mania, fad," or, as The Century Dictionary (1902) defines it, "An unreasoning or capricious liking or affectation of liking, more or less sudden and temporary, and usually shared by a number of persons, especially in society, for something particular, uncommon, peculiar, or curious ...."