mad·​wom·​an | \ ˈmad-ˌwu̇-mən How to pronounce madwoman (audio) \

Definition of madwoman

: a woman who is or acts as if insane

Examples of madwoman in a Sentence

She is a madwoman on the dance floor.
Recent Examples on the Web The occasion is Quentin Bell’s biography of Woolf, the personal, family provenance of which, Ozick says, has reduced Woolf to the madwoman of the family. Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books, 16 Mar. 2021 But no one takes Maud seriously—just as no one believed the local madwoman ( Cara Kelly ) who haunted their village back in 1949, and who seemed to know how and why—and with whom—Sukey had vanished. John Anderson, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2020 After Biden announced his pick, Trump called Harris nasty, angry and a madwoman. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2020 One acquaintance of Vitória’s, Antoinette, is named after Jean Rhys’s reinvention of Charlotte Brontë’s madwoman in the attic in Wide Sargasso Sea. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, 20 Jan. 2020 She is alternately hailed as a moral genius and dismissed as a madwoman. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, 12 July 2019 No one would turn around if the madwoman of Chaillot came in. Bill Savage, Chicago Reader, 13 June 2018 The novel opens with the crime, so its readability (helped by Sam Taylor’s cool translation) comes from the back story: the transformation of Louise from good fairy to madwoman in the attic. The Economist, 11 Jan. 2018 Cotillard’s madwoman contortions cannot pass for innocent adolescent pique, and this exposes the film’s fakery. Armond White, National Review, 28 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of madwoman

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of madwoman was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Madwoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of madwoman

: a woman who has severe mental illness : an insane woman
: a woman who acts in a wild and uncontrolled way


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