mad money


Definition of mad money

1 : discretionary money set aside for an emergency or for personal use Mad money is a bit of cash set aside for some personal fun …— Jerry Tarde I tell everyone I am semi-retired. The theory is to be able to find a few small side jobs to just make a little "mad money" using the skills acquired through a decades-long career.— Michael Baldauf Search the apartment or house carefully. Some people conceal cash or jewelry in their homes. If there is a library, look through the books. They are a favorite repository for mad money— David Bernheim The Pine Wood Elementary P.T.A. in the county gives each teacher $100 for classroom "mad money."— Michael Winerip
2 old-fashioned : money that a woman carries to pay her fare home in case a date ends badly (as in a quarrel) I was born too late for mad money. By the time I was old enough to date, the idea that a woman would leave her house with just enough cash to get herself home was so anachronistic, it verged on ludicrous.— Rebecca Johnson

Examples of mad money in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The untitled project follows a Swiss art dealer and Russian oligarch caught in a web of secrets, lies and mad money, telling the inside story of an international, billion-dollar game where power is the ultimate currency. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 1 Apr. 2022 Ever-rising stock prices, fed by the Federal Reserve Board’s hedge-fund bailout and mad money printing approach to monetary policy, meant the only sucker’s game was not buying stocks. Los Angeles Times, 2 Feb. 2022 Others are hobbyists, trading a chunk of their retirement portfolios or some mad money. Emily Flitter, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mad money.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mad money

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of mad money was in 1922

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Cite this Entry

“Mad money.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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