- an old woman, especially an ugly one; hag.
- Obsolete. grandmother.
Origin of beldam
Examples from the Web for beldam
To which, after some Perswasion to the contrary, the venerable Beldam waited on her.The Works of Aphra Behn
"He's only doing it to make sure I'm not a beldam," said Gwen innocently.When Ghost Meets Ghost
William Frend De Morgan
"This is a make-peace fashion of thine," said the beldam, relaxing into a smile.Rob of the Bowl, Vol. I (of 2)
John P. Kennedy
"Sir Robert has himself written me about that beldam," said the chamberlain.
The beldam sat with her face towards Rodolph and the brigand.
- archaic an old woman, esp an ugly or malicious one; hag
- an obsolete word for grandmother
Word Origin and History for beldam
"aged woman," 1570s; earlier "grandmother" (mid-15c.), from dame (q.v.) in the sense of "mother" + bel-, Middle English prefix expressing relationship (cf. belfader, belsire "grandfather"), from Old French bel, belle "beautiful, fair, fine" (see belle). This "direct relationship" sense of bel is not found in French, where the prefix is used to form words for in-laws.