miss fire. fire(def 52).

Origin of miss

before 900; Middle English missen, Old English missan; cognate with Old Frisian missa, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German missen, Old Norse missa to fail to hit or reach

Related forms

miss·a·ble, adjectiveun·miss·a·ble, adjectiveun·missed, adjective

Can be confused

midst missed mist

Definition for misses (2 of 3)


[ mis-iz, -is ]
/ ˈmɪs ɪz, -ɪs /


Older Use. wife: I'll have to ask the missis.
the mistress of a household.

Also missus.

Origin of missis

First recorded in 1780–90; variant of mistress

Definition for misses (3 of 3)


[ mis ]
/ mɪs /

noun, plural miss·es.

(initial capital letter) a title of respect for an unmarried woman, conventionally prefixed to her name or to the name of that which she represents: Miss Mary Jones; Miss Sweden.
(used by itself, as a term of address, especially to a young woman): Miss, please bring me some ketchup.
(initial capital letter) a title prefixed to a mock surname used to represent a particular attribute of the person, especially one excessively prominent: Miss Innocent; Miss Congeniality.
a young unmarried woman; girl: a radiant miss of 18 or so.
  1. a range of sizes, chiefly from 6 to 20, for garments that fit women of average height and build.
  2. the department or section of a store where these garments are sold.
  3. a garment in this size range.

Origin of miss

First recorded in 1600–10; short for mistress

Usage note

See Ms. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misses

British Dictionary definitions for misses (1 of 4)


/ (mɪs) /



a failure to reach, hit, meet, find, etc
give something a miss informal to avoid (something)give the lecture a miss; give the pudding a miss
See also miss out

Derived Forms

missable, adjective

Word Origin for miss

Old English missan (meaning: to fail to hit); related to Old High German missan, Old Norse missa

British Dictionary definitions for misses (2 of 4)


/ (mɪs) /


informal an unmarried woman or girl, esp a schoolgirl

Word Origin for miss

C17: shortened form of mistress

British Dictionary definitions for misses (3 of 4)


/ (ˈmɪsɪz, -ɪs) /


a variant spelling of missus

British Dictionary definitions for misses (4 of 4)


/ (mɪs) /


a title of an unmarried woman or girl, usually used before the surname or sometimes alone in direct address

Word Origin for Miss

C17: shortened from mistress
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

Idioms and Phrases with misses


In addition to the idioms beginning with miss

  • miss a beat
  • miss by a mile
  • miss fire
  • miss is as good as a mile, a
  • miss much
  • miss out on
  • miss the boat
  • miss the point

also see:

  • heart misses a beat
  • hit or miss
  • near miss
  • not miss a trick

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.