[ deym ]
See synonyms for dame on Thesaurus.com
  1. (initial capital letter) (in Britain)

    • the official title of a female member of the Order of the British Empire, equivalent to that of a knight.

    • the official title of the wife of a knight or baronet.

  2. (formerly) a form of address to any woman of rank or authority.

  1. a matronly woman of advanced age; matron.

  2. Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman: Some dame cut me off and almost caused an accident.

  3. Ecclesiastical. a title of a nun in certain orders.

  4. a mistress of a dame-school.

  5. Archaic. the mistress of a household.

  6. Archaic. a woman of rank or authority, especially a female ruler.

Origin of dame

1175–1225; Middle English <Old French <Latin domina, feminine of dominus lord, master

usage note For dame

Dame is sometimes perceived as insulting when used to refer generally to a woman, unless it is a woman of rank or advanced age.

Words Nearby dame

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dame in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dame (1 of 2)


/ (deɪm) /

  1. (formerly) a woman of rank or dignity; lady

  2. a nun who has taken the vows of her order, esp a Benedictine

  1. archaic, mainly British a matronly or elderly woman

  2. slang, mainly US and Canadian a woman

  3. Also called: pantomime dame British the role of a comic old woman in a pantomime, usually played by a man

Origin of dame

C13: from Old French, from Latin domina lady, mistress of a household

British Dictionary definitions for Dame (2 of 2)


/ (deɪm) /

noun(in Britain)
  1. the title of a woman who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire or any of certain other orders of chivalry

  2. the legal title of the wife or widow of a knight or baronet, placed before her name: Dame Judith Compare Lady

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