- an old woman, especially an ugly one; hag.
- Obsolete. grandmother.
Origin of beldam
Examples from the Web for beldame
Historical Examples of beldame
What did the beldame mean by saying, "Keep your secret, and I'll keep mine?"The Room in the Dragon Volant
J. Sheridan LeFanu
Probably any one of them was strong enough to throw the beldame out at a window.The O'Ruddy
The beldame has suggested that he must be 'liege-lord of all the elves and fays'.Keats: Poems Published in 1820
"But I am not content to surrender my Madoc," yelled the beldame.Pabo, The Priest
The beldame came in presently, before he had had time to shape his thoughts.Mohawks, Volume 3 of 3
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- archaic an old woman, esp an ugly or malicious one; hag
- an obsolete word for grandmother
Word Origin for beldam
Word Origin and History for beldame
"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.