mad·​wom·​an ˈmad-ˌwu̇-mən How to pronounce madwoman (audio)
: a woman who is or acts as if insane

Example Sentences

She is a madwoman on the dance floor.
Recent Examples on the Web Emma Thompson won an Oscar for adapting Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and danced like a madwoman at the Adele concert in London. Vulture, 2 Jan. 2022 For real, though, was Galadriel supposed to be a genocidal madwoman and a Sauron-enabling sap? Darren Franich,, 18 Oct. 2022 Bapu refers to herself as a madwoman or a lunatic more than a dozen times in her journals, but only sometimes with despair. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2022 Faye Dunaway plays screen legend Joan Crawford as a wire hanger-wielding madwoman in this campy 1981 bio-drama based on the scandalous tell-all by Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 To its credit, Better Angels also manages to redeem Mary Todd Lincoln from her too-common caricature as a grieving madwoman. Christian Holub,, 9 Dec. 2021 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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near madwoman

Cite this Entry

“Madwoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


mad·​wom·​an ˈmad-ˌwu̇m-ən How to pronounce madwoman (audio)
: a woman who is or who acts as if insane
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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