Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Origin: bedlam 'mental hospital' (17-18 centuries), from Bedlam 'Bethlehem' (10-17 centuries); from the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem former London mental hospital

bedlam

noun
     
bed‧lam [uncountable]
a situation where there is a lot of noise and confusion [= chaos]:
When the bomb exploded, there was bedlam.

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