[ mad-uhm ]
See synonyms for: madammesdames on

noun,plural mes·dames [mey-dam, -dahm] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm/ for 1; mad·ams for 2, 3.
  1. (often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority: Madam President; May I help you, madam?

  2. the woman in charge of a household: Is the madam at home?

  1. the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.

Origin of madam

1250–1300; Middle English madame<Old French, originally ma dame my lady; see dame

Words that may be confused with madam

Words Nearby madam Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use madam in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for madam


/ (ˈmædəm) /

nounplural madams or for sense 1 mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm)
  1. a polite term of address for a woman, esp one considered to be of relatively high social status

  2. a woman who runs a brothel

  1. British informal a precocious or pompous little girl

  2. the madam Southern African informal the lady of the house

Origin of madam

C13: from Old French ma dame my 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