Medical Definition of Amok

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Amok: A syndrome first reported in the Malay people, usually male, consisting of a period of brooding followed by a sudden outburst of indiscriminate murderous frenzy, sometimes provoked by an insult, jealousy or sense of desperation. The person who runs amok may also die in a form of murder-suicide. Spelled also amuck. The Malay word for "furious attack." Similar syndromes such as cafard in Polynesia and mal de pelea in Puerto Rico are known to occur in other peoples.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018