noun Older Use.

a female schoolteacher, especially of the old-time country school type, popularly held to be strict and priggish.

Origin of schoolmarm

1835–45, Americanism; variant of schoolma'am
Related formsschool·marm·ish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for schoolmarmish

Historical Examples of schoolmarmish

  • Dowdy, schoolmarmish, extension-lectureish, it might be and doubtless was.

    Dangerous Ages

    Rose Macaulay

British Dictionary definitions for schoolmarmish


noun informal

a woman schoolteacher, esp when considered to be prim, prudish, or old-fashioned
British any woman considered to be prim, prudish, or old-fashioned
Derived Formsschoolmarmish, adjective

Word Origin for schoolmarm

C19: from school 1 + marm, variant of ma'am . 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 schoolmarmish



also school-marm, "female school teacher," 1834, American English colloquial, in countrified humor writing of "Major Jack Downing" of Maine (Seba Smith); variant of school-ma'am (1828), American English, from school (n.1) + ma'am. See R. Used figuratively from 1887 in reference to patronizing and priggish instruction.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper