mad money

noun

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About mad money

Time Traveler for mad money

Time Traveler

The first known use of mad money was in 1922

See more words from the same year

Statistics for mad money

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mad money.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mad%20money. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on mad money

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mad money

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!