• synonyms


[mem-sah-ib, -eeb]
  1. (formerly, in India) a term of respect for a married European woman.
Show More

Origin of memsahib

1855–60; < Hindi, equivalent to mem (< English ma'am) + sāhib master (< Arabic ṣāḥib)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for memsahib

Historical Examples

  • He has to keep us three of course—me and the Memsahib and the other Eurasian.

    The Works of Rudyard Kipling: One Volume Edition

    Rudyard Kipling

  • I don't think I shall ever outlive the Memsahib or Tsin-ling.

  • Morbid sort of fancy I call it; but I've got to do what the Memsahib tells me.

  • It was the strange Memsahib, the khansammah observed to himself.

    Caravans By Night

    Harry Hervey

  • In those days I rode seventy miles with an English memsahib and her babe on my saddle-bow.


    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for memsahib


  1. (formerly in India) a term of respect used of a European married woman
Show More

Word Origin

C19: from ma'am + sahib
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