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SAT vocabulary: bedlam

What does bedlam mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick Vocab Quiz for the word bedlam

First, before you read about the word bedlam, try this quick vocab quiz:

bedlam most nearly means

(A) tumult (B) din (C) trance (D) sagacity (E) fit

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word bedlam.

Part of Speech of bedlam

bedlam is a NOUN

Pronunciation bedlam

Here’s how to pronounce bedlam:

IPA: /ˈbɛd.ləm/

Glossary-style: [BEHD-lum]

Definition of bedlam

a place or situation of great disorder, confusion, and uproar, often noisy (Ex: the city after the earthquake was bedlam).

Explain more about bedlam, please

bedlam is an interesting word and very useful to know, as we use it quite frequently. First, bedlam simply means a great, confused, chaotic, and often noisy, uproar. Think of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people running around like crazy, panicking, and you’ll get the idea of bedlam. For example, during riots, there is oftenbedlam. And looting (the act of large numbers of people smashing store windows, robbing the stores, etc.) is a perfect example of bedlam.

Example of bedlam

Here’s the word bedlam used in a sentence:

Governments and police departments are often wary of demonstrations and protests, even peaceful ones, since it often takes only a small amount of incitement for a peaceful demonstration to turn into bedlam.

Discussion of the word bedlam

Would you believe that the words bedlam and Bethlehem are related? Read on.

bedlam originates from the popular name for the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London, England, which was an “insane asylum”, or more politically correctly, a psychiatric hospital. It was founded in 1330 and is considered the world’s first (and now oldest) institution to specialize in mental illness.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

By Erin Billy

Founder of TestMagic, Inc. in San Francisco, USA.

2 replies on “SAT vocabulary: bedlam”

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