Definition of madwoman in English:


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nounplural noun madwomen

  • 1A woman who is mentally ill.

    ‘The magic of his evocation of the feminine apart, his portrayal of the dependent daughter and sister, the rejected lover, and the madwoman, is magnificent.’
    • ‘The set-up is horror-film heaven - three Norwegian filmmakers on a road trip through Louisiana stop to take in the local colour and end up being antagonized by a madwoman.’
    • ‘Maura, the village madwoman, danced more wildly than all the rest, chanting uncouth rhymes.’
    • ‘Who is responsible for the fire at Thornfield - the madwoman, the drunk woman, or the husband who, despite these warnings, did not dismiss the drunk woman and put the madwoman under proper supervision?’
    • ‘What bird could resist following a madwoman scattering bits of stale Welsh cake?’
    • ‘In other words, Mala is simply discounted by others as an old madwoman: neither her person nor her stories are considered relevant or important.’
    • ‘One of these gentlemen just happens to be the madwoman's father, a charming chap who seems unfazed by most things in this day and age.’
    • ‘And even more scary, was the eerie phone call by an insane madwoman.’
    • ‘Houses like this can either feel like they've never been occupied - full of treasures polished by an invisible army of servants - or appear all too lived in, suggesting a handful of ghosts and a madwoman or two in the attic.’
    • ‘She gave a crazed cry, the cry of a Harpy, the cry of a madwoman who had long lost all sanity, the cries of one who faced death and would never forget.’
    • ‘I wanted the character to be sufficiently normal that no one doubted what she said, that she didn't come across right from the start as a madwoman.’
    • ‘‘Let me go,’ I shrieked, feeling very much like a madwoman.’
    • ‘Since Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic, critics have assumed that attics house madwomen.’
    • ‘Charlotte Brontë's novel is not very different from typical gothic thrillers - everything from a sadistic schoolmaster to the arsonist madwoman in the attic.’
    • ‘And while you might think that you have all the right in the world to lead Orlath, I am not fighting merely to replace a madwoman with a fanatic.’
    • ‘The Madres were in fact called locas (madwomen) by many, who considered that their public grieving was inappropriate.’
    • ‘By now, everyone along the wide corridor was chucking very hurtful comments at me, all laughing like madmen or madwomen.’
    • ‘‘She ran towards them like the madwoman that she is,’ answered Ric.’
    • ‘Because the producers were eager to show how ordinary and non-ideal she really was, the actress who played Mary as an adult looked like a madwoman whose hair resembled the nest of a very large and careless bird.’
    • ‘This is the story behind the Victorian madwoman in the attic, of all the forgotten women whose rewritten histories replace isolation with hysteria, and non-conformity with insanity.’
    lunatic, madman, madwoman, mad person, deranged person, psychopath, psychotic
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    1. 1.1Used in similes to refer to a woman who does something very fast, intensely, or violently.
      ‘she'd driven my father's convertible like a madwoman’
      • ‘When we'd arrived at her place she'd panicked over Ken not being there, and rushed around like a madwoman checking to make sure things were still there.’
      • ‘The bassist's fingers at times became a blur as she plucked away at the strings like a madwoman.’
      • ‘Walker told police she had left the house ‘like a madwoman possessed’.’
      • ‘Even though I've been dodging the sun like a madwoman I've still got a bit of a tan.’
      • ‘Ms. Codd, the second floor monitor, pushed her way through the gaggle of children, shouting and waving her arms like a madwoman.’
      • ‘I really appreciate this, because I wasn't able to catch everything that was read, seeing as how I was running around like a madwoman and drunk.’
      • ‘Even if you train like a madwoman on a mission, a Pilates Mat class will remind you that you have a body and when you're nice to it, it's nice to you right back.’
      • ‘After chatting with the vet, I went home and cleaned like a madwoman in anticipation of Julie, best friend extraordinaire's, arrival.’
      • ‘She cleaned like a madwoman when she was nervous.’
      • ‘Katrina, of course, drove like a madwoman again.’
      • ‘I couldn't just charge out there like a madwoman.’
      • ‘‘Okay,’ she whispered, eyes wide, smiling like a madwoman.’
      • ‘Sadly, the paper creation was knocked out of her hands as Kami rode past on her expensive two-wheeler, pedaling and laughing like a madwoman.’
      • ‘It was the perfect music to turn on as loud as humanly possible and dance like madwomen on a particularly springy bed.’
      • ‘Both girls stared at each other, stunned for a moment, and then Katie lunged into Stephanie's arms, both crying like madwomen.’
      • ‘She remembered being hyper on another one of their trips to the mall and skipping and twirling around, and his happy laugh as he watched her act like a madwoman.’
      • ‘She blubbered, completely unable to stop herself and completely humiliated that she was crying like a madwoman in front of Jordan!’
      • ‘She ran like a madwoman for the longest time, jumping over people, swirling around houses, and tearing through the forest.’
      • ‘While Anna was very active whenever any good song came on, and danced like a madwoman, I hung back, studying the sea of unfamiliar faces.’
      • ‘I was by no means unfamiliar with the area, yet I had wandered here like a madwoman; insane and shell-shocked out of all sense.’



/ˈmadˌwo͝omən/ /ˈmædˌwʊmən/


Late Middle English from mad + woman.