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Bellatrix Lestrange

What does Bellatrix Lestrange mean?

Bellatrix Lestrange refers to an evil, deranged witch from J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series and is popularly associated with a wild hairstyle and Goth-like look.

image of Bellatrix Lestrange

Where does Bellatrix Lestrange come from?

Bellatrix Lestrange first appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, published in 2000. A follower of the series’ main villain, Voldemort, she kills several crucial characters throughout the series.

Like many Harry Potter characters, the name Bellatrix references astronomy. Bellatrix alludes to the third-brightest star in the Orion constellation and means “female warrior” in Latin.

A few things to note…

Bellatrix Lestrange is known for her intense loyalty to, and even obsession with, her master, Voldemort. Her name, however, has become most closely associated with her rather distinctive physical appearance and evil, unhinged behavior, particularly as depicted in the films.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, she’s described as a straggly-haired woman with a gaunt, skull-like face who has been ravaged by her time in the wizard prison, Azkaban. She’s frequently described as disheveled and ugly, with heavy-lidded eyes and a fanatical demeanor. Actor Helena Bonham Carter’s later portrayal of her in the Harry Potter films featured wild, teased hair, a haggard face, pale skin, and ragged black clothing that came together to form a recognizable aesthetic with a gothic flair.

This look became so synonymous with the character that now people can accuse a person of “going full Bellatrix Lestrange” with an outfit, or describe a hairstyle as having “Bellatrix Lestrange vibes.” While wild hair is most frequently evokes Bellatrix LeStrange, black clothes and a makeup scheme that calls to mind Bellatrix’s gaunt face also bring this famous villain to mind.

Bellatrix Lestrange, based on her actions and personality in the Harry Potter books and films, is also used as an allusion for wild, frenzied behavior.

For example…

“In stepped a tall, dark-haired, fair-skinned man accompanied by a Bellatrix Lestrange wannabe at his side.”

Brad A. LaMar, The Megalith Union (2013)

“This is some new shit we're seeing from Aubrey Plaza. She looks like the zombie corpse of Bellatrix Lestrange in this scene.”

@redrainricky Twitter (March 29, 2017)

“Bellatrix Lestrange (HBC) cackling menacingly as she escapes through the demolished wall of Azkaban is basically me on the rare occasion that I get to leave the house to do something even remotely entertaining.”

Tanya Marie Cole Facebook (March 9, 2017)

This is not a formal definition of Bellatrix Lestrange like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Bellatrix Lestrange that will help you expand your word mastery.