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During the holidays, my mother became febrile; not only was she feverish, but was also filled with nervous and hectic energy. She never stopped moving, despite running a temperature; instead of resting, she went from one preparation to the next in a constant blur of febrile, feverish activity. When I offered to do some of the holiday cooking, she turned down my help and continued to scurry about the house in a highly excited, nervous, and febrile effort to make everything perfect. Unfortunately, the activity became too much for her, which caused her febrile temperature to peak at 105.

Quiz: When is an action febrile?

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

Memory Hook

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


  • 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

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