[ mey-dahm, -dam; French mey-dam ]
/ meɪˈdɑm, -ˈdæm; French meɪˈdam /


a plural of madam.
plural of madame.

Nearby words

  1. mescal bean,
  2. mescal button,
  3. mescalero,
  4. mescaline,
  5. mesclun,
  6. mesdemoiselles,
  7. mesectoderm,
  8. meseems,
  9. mesel,
  10. mesembryanthemum


[ mad-uh m ]
/ ˈmæd əm /

noun, plural mes·dames [mey-dam, -dahm] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm/ for 1; mad·ams for 2, 3.

(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?
the woman in charge of a household: Is the madam at home?
the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.

Origin of madam

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

Can be confusedmadam madame


[ muh-dam, -dahm, ma-; mad-uh m; French ma-dam ]
/ məˈdæm, -ˈdɑm, mæ-; ˈmæd əm; French maˈdam /

noun, plural mes·dames [mey-dam, -dahm; French mey-dam] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm; French meɪˈdam/. (often initial capital letter)

a French title of respect equivalent to “Mrs.”, used alone or prefixed to a woman's married name or title: Madame Curie.
(in English) a title of respect used in speaking to or of an older woman, especially one of distinction, who is not of American or British origin. Abbreviation: Mme.

Origin of madame

From French, dating back to 1590–1600; see origin at madam

Can be confusedmadam madame Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mesdames

British Dictionary definitions for mesdames


/ (ˈmeɪˌdæm, French medam) /


the plural of madame, madam (def. 1)


/ (ˈmædəm) /

noun plural madams or for sense 1 mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm)

a polite term of address for a woman, esp one considered to be of relatively high social status
a woman who runs a brothel
British informal a precocious or pompous little girl
the madam Southern African informal the lady of the house

Word Origin for madam

C13: from Old French ma dame my lady


/ (ˈmædəm, French madam) /

noun plural mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm, French medam)

a married Frenchwoman: usually used as a title equivalent to Mrs, and sometimes extended to older unmarried women to show respect and to women of other nationalities

Word Origin for madame

C17: from French. 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

Word Origin and History for mesdames
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper