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

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 Ajo Kawir, a Javanese teenager, witnesses the brutal rape of a local madwoman by two policemen, and from that moment on is rendered impotent. The Economist, "The secrets of Indonesia’s finest novelist," 13 July 2017 And there is an all-knowing, imprisoned madwoman who sends out paper birds. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "Minneapolis author Kelly Barnhill wins Newbery Medal for middle-grade novel," 23 Jan. 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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Maduro (Moros)






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Time Traveler for madwoman

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

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on madwoman

Spanish Central: Translation of madwoman

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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