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 After Biden announced his pick, Trump called Harris nasty, angry and a madwoman. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, "Kamala Harris seeks to crack glass ceiling in US politics as backlash against Trump galvanizes women," 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, "New Books," 20 Jan. 2020 She is alternately hailed as a moral genius and dismissed as a madwoman. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘The Weil Conjectures’ Review: Symbols and Suffering," 12 July 2019 No one would turn around if the madwoman of Chaillot came in. Bill Savage, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Books / Booze / Food & Drink Can a Division Street cocktail bar truly capture the spirit of Nelson Algren?," 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, "“The Perfect Nanny” exploits working mothers’ fears," 11 Jan. 2018 Cotillard’s madwoman contortions cannot pass for innocent adolescent pique, and this exposes the film’s fakery. Armond White, National Review, "From the Land of the Moon," 28 July 2017 Jaime and Cersei are spitting some mad anti-Daenerys propaganda, telling the remaining houses loyal to the Lannisters that the Dragon Queen is a murderous madwoman who controls an army of savages. Matt Miller, Esquire, "Game of Thrones Already F*cked Everyone's Plans," 24 July 2017 Add to that the almost wicked tone of the poem; its haunting last sentence could be followed by a madwoman’s cry or cackle. Shara Mccallum, New York Times, "Memory," 30 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of madwoman

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about madwoman

Time Traveler for madwoman

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for madwoman

Cite this Entry

“Madwoman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for madwoman


How to pronounce madwoman (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of madwoman

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


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

Medical Definition of madwoman

: a woman who is or acts as if insane

Comments on madwoman

What made you want to look up madwoman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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