madding (adj.)

"becoming mad, acting madly, raging, furious," 1570s, present-participle adjective from obsolete verb mad "to make insane; to become insane" (replaced by madden); now principally in the phrase far from the madding crowd, title of the popular 1874 novel of love and betrayal in rural England by Hardy, who lifted it from "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife," a line of Gray's "Elegy" (1749), which seems to echo and smooth a line from Drummond of Hawthornden from 1614 ("Farre from the madding Worldling's hoarse discords"). Related: Maddingly.

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