Definition of mistress
1 : a woman who has power, authority, or ownership: as a : the female head of a household b : a woman who employs or supervises servants c : a woman who is in charge of a school or other establishment d : a woman of the Scottish nobility having a status comparable to that of a master
2 a chiefly British : a female teacher or tutor b : a woman who has achieved mastery in some field
3 : something personified as female that rules, directs, or dominates <when Rome was mistress of the world>
4 a : a woman other than his wife with whom a married man has a continuing sexual relationship b archaic : sweetheart
5 a —used archaically as a title prefixed to the name of a married or unmarried woman b chiefly Southern & Midland : mrs. 1a
Examples of mistress in a sentence
Servants were required to do the mistress's bidding without question.
The dog was always obedient to its master and mistress.
the master and mistress of the house
a married man who has a mistress
His wife suspected that the woman she'd seen with him was his mistress.
Origin and Etymology of mistress
Middle English maistresse, from Anglo-French mestresse, feminine of mestre master — more at master
First Known Use: 14th century
MISTRESS Defined for Kids
Definition of mistress for Students
1 : a female teacher
2 : a woman who has control or authority over another person, an animal, or a thing <… the old woman had no loyalty toward her mistress … — Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up mistress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).