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[skool-mahrm] /ˈskulˌmɑrm/
noun, Older Use.
a female schoolteacher, especially of the old-time country school type, popularly held to be strict and priggish.
Also, schoolma'am.
Origin of schoolmarm
1835-45, Americanism; variant of schoolma'am
Related forms
schoolmarmish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for schoolmarm
Historical Examples
  • "This schoolmarm lady has fainted," announced the mule-skinner.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • "You can go now," he said, like a schoolmarm dismissing class.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Truly, Smith guarded the schoolmarm with the vigilance of a sheep-dog.

    'Me-Smith' Caroline Lockhart
  • Then I must go and see the schoolmarm, remarked Walter, and get her to help me.

    Fighting the Sea Edward A. Rand
  • "It seems there is a necessity for a schoolmarm in the family," remarked Linda.

    Talbot's Angles Amy E. Blanchard
  • It got its story from a Yankee schoolmarm who got it from a negro woman.

    Dixie After the War

    Myrta Lockett Avary
  • Say, Nebrasky, who have yu' offered your canary to the schoolmarm said you mustn't give her?

    The Virginian Owen Wister
  • Other matters also disquieted him—so Lin McLean was hanging round that schoolmarm!

    The Virginian Owen Wister
  • That must have been mighty close to a drowndin' the schoolmarm got at South Fork.

    The Virginian Owen Wister
  • At this set task in letter-writing, the cow-puncher had greatly excelled the schoolmarm!

    The Virginian Owen Wister
British Dictionary definitions for schoolmarm


noun (informal)
a woman schoolteacher, esp when considered to be prim, prudish, or old-fashioned
(Brit) any woman considered to be prim, prudish, or old-fashioned
Derived Forms
schoolmarmish, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from school1 + marm, variant of ma'am. See madam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for schoolmarm

also school-marm, "female school teacher," 1834, American English colloquial, in countrified humor writing of "Major Jack Downing" of Maine (Seba Smith); variant of school-ma'am (1828), American English, from school (n.1) + ma'am. See R. Used figuratively from 1887 in reference to patronizing and priggish instruction.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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