Lunatic fringe


      • extreme or radical
        Refers to the most extreme or radical members of a group or movement

      • unstable or erratic
        Describes individuals or ideas that are unpredictable or irrational

    Examples of Lunatic fringe

    • The group of protesters at the rally represented the lunatic fringe of society, screaming and waving signs that would make any sensible person cringe.

      The term "lunatic fringe" refers to a group of people considered to be eccentric, extreme, or radical. In this case, the use of the phrase highlights the fact that the protesters' behavior and demands were so extreme that they were viewed as being outside of the mainstream and potentially dangerous or unhinged.

    • Jane's political views have moved further and further to the left over the years, putting her firmly in the lunatic fringe of her own party.

      The expression "lunatic fringe" is also used to indicate a small, marginalized group within a larger organization, movement, or community that holds extreme or untenable beliefs. In this example, Jane's political beliefs are seen as so far removed from the accepted views of her own political party that she is regarded as being on the fringes of its membership, and potentially not representative of its views or values.

    • Dave's conspiracy theories were completely off the wall, and some might say he belonged to the lunatic fringe of society.

      This usage of the "lunatic fringe" metaphor reflects the idea that extreme or unusual opinions can put people outside the mainstream of society. In this instance, Dave's unconventional views on politics, culture, or science are seen as being so outlandish that they cast him as an outsider or pariah in society, emphasizing that his ideas are not widely accepted or considered credible.

    • The cult leader's wild rantings were a clear indication that he was truly a member of the lunatic fringe.

      Finally, the expression "lunatic fringe" is sometimes used to describe individuals or groups that exhibit behavior which is so strange, extreme, or dangerous as to be considered alarming or potentially dangerous. In this example, the use of the phrase suggests that the cult leader's actions or beliefs are so outlandish or alarming that they place him outside the boundaries of acceptable social behavior, making him a potentially dangerous or unpredictable figure.

    • The political candidate's most extreme supporters often fall into the lunatic fringe, brandishing signs and making outrageous promises that most voters reject.

      The "lunatic fringe" refers to the most fervent and radical supporters of a particular cause or belief, who may be viewed by others as fanatical or extreme. In this example, the phrase is being used to describe the most extreme and fervent followers of a political candidate, who are considered by many to be outside the mainstream of political opinion. Their behaviors, such as making outrageous promises and brandishing signs, are seen as extreme and unlikely to be accepted by the majority of voters. Overall, using the "lunatic fringe" idiom helps to convey a sense of the radical and fervent nature of the most extreme supporters of a political candidate, while also highlighting the fact that such supporters may not be representative of the broader political community.


    The idiom "lunatic fringe" is used to describe the extreme or radical members of a group or movement, as well as individuals or ideas that are unpredictable or irrational. It can be used in both a political context, to refer to the most extreme members of a particular ideology, as well as in a more general sense to describe any person or idea that is considered to be on the edge of acceptability or reason.

    Origin of "Lunatic fringe"

    The term "lunatic fringe" originated in the early 20th century and is believed to have been first used in a political context. The word "lunatic" is derived from the Latin word "lunaticus," which means "of the moon" and was historically used to describe individuals who were considered to be mentally ill or unstable, with their behavior believed to be influenced by the phases of the moon. The addition of "fringe" in the idiom likely came from the idea of the outer edge or boundary of something, further emphasizing the extreme or radical nature of the individuals or ideas being described. Over time, the idiom has become more widely used to describe any extreme or irrational behavior or beliefs.