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  • Adj.

febrile

FEB-ruhl

Context
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During the holidays, my mother was full of febrile, nervous, and hectic energy. She never stopped moving, but went from one preparation to the next in a constant blur of febrile, feverish activity. When I offered to do some of the cooking, she turned down my help and continued to scurry about the house in a highly excited, nervous, and febrile effort to make everything perfectly. Unfortunately, she became physically febrile the next day, as her temperature reached 105.

Quiz: When is an action febrile?

  • When it is characterized by nervous energy.
  • When it is done by only one person.
  • When it has a large amount of energy.

Memory Hook
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Fever-riled This worsening fever of his had him all riled up to the point where he was feeling fever-riled and febrile.

Examples
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  • Nor is it 'wild speculation' to accuse the jury of bias when one of its members rushes to the cameras immediately after the verdict with the left’s febrile theory of the case and that is demonstrably what Denis Collins did. —Newsvine
  • Lush, extravagant, sad and touching, this film version of 'Love in the Time of Cholera' still feels weirdly insubstantial when all the febrile passion has abated. —The Washington Post
  • James Brown and Otis Redding have long been cited as Toots Hibbert’s chief influences, but Hibbert’s febrile Pentecostal histrionics really owe a great deal to Jamaican gospel-ska groups like Basil Gabbidon’s Mellowlarks. —Rolling Stone
  • Such was the febrile atmosphere within the Jamaican camp that 25 of them — half the athletics team — marched in protest in the athletes village earlier on Monday holding banners saying 'Merlene out, Peta in, Relays out'. —Sports Illustrated

Word Ingredients
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febr fever
-ile tending to do or be something

Febrile activity is so heated that it becomes like a “fever.” Notice that the letters “b” and “v” are often interchangeable.

Word Constellation
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Febrile