madam

Madam is a very formal way to address a woman, particularly an older or married woman. A waiter at a fancy restaurant might say, "Your table is ready, madam."

If a stranger calls a woman madam, he probably sees her as a mature, dignified person. If the woman is younger, she is more likely to be called "miss," and sometimes madam is abbreviated as "ma'am." Another kind of madam is a woman who owns or runs a house of prostitution. Madam comes from the French phrase ma dame, "my lady."

Definitions of madam
  1. noun
    a woman of refinement
    synonyms: dame, gentlewoman, lady, ma'am
    see moresee less
    types:
    grande dame
    a middle-aged or elderly woman who is stylish and highly respected
    madame
    title used for a married Frenchwoman
    type of:
    adult female, woman
    an adult female person (as opposed to a man)
  2. noun
    a woman who runs a house of prostitution
    synonyms: brothel keeper
    see moresee less
    type of:
    businesswoman
    a female businessperson
Word Family
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