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[mey-dahm, -dam; French mey-dam] /meɪˈdɑm, -ˈdæm; French meɪˈdam/

a plural of .
plural of .
[mad-uh m] /ˈmæd əm/
noun, plural mesdames
[mey-dam, -dahm] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm/ (Show IPA), for 1; madams for 2, 3.
(often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority:
Madam President; May I help you, madam?
the woman in charge of a household:
Is the madam at home?
the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.
[muh-dam, -dahm, ma-; mad-uh m; French ma-dam] /məˈdæm, -ˈdɑm, mæ-; ˈmæd əm; French maˈdam/
noun, plural mesdames
[mey-dam, -dahm; French mey-dam] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm; French meɪˈdam/ (Show IPA). (often initial capital letter)
a French title of respect equivalent to “Mrs.”, used alone or prefixed to a woman’s married name or title:
Madame Curie.
(in English) a title of respect used in speaking to or of an older woman, especially one of distinction, who is not of American or British origin.
Abbreviation: Mme.
/ˈmeɪˌdæm; French medam/
the plural of madame, madam (sense 1)
noun (pl) madams, (for sense 1) mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm)
a polite term of address for a woman, esp one considered to be of relatively high social status
a woman who runs a brothel
(Brit, informal) a precocious or pompous little girl
(South African, informal) the madam, the lady of the house
/ˈmædəm; French madam/
noun (pl) mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm; French) (medam)
a married Frenchwoman: usually used as a title equivalent to Mrs, and sometimes extended to older unmarried women to show respect and to women of other nationalities

plural of French madame (see madam).

c.1300, from Old French ma dame, literally “my lady,” from Latin mea domina (cf. madonna). Meaning “female owner or manager of a brothel” is first attested 1871.

1590s, see madam, which is an earlier borrowing of the same French phrase. Originally a title of respect for a woman of rank, now given to any married woman. OED recommends madam as an English title, madame in reference to foreign women.


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