madding (adj.) Look up madding at
present participle adjective from obsolete verb mad "to make insane; to become insane" (see madden); now principally in the phrase far from the madding crowd, title of a novel by Hardy (1874), who lifted it from a line of Gray's "Elegy" (1749), which seems to echo a line from Drummond of Hawthornden from 1614 ("Farre from the madding Worldling's hoarse discords").