dam·​sel | \ ˈdam-zəl How to pronounce damsel (audio) \
variants: or less commonly damosel or damozel \ ˈda-​mə-​ˌzel How to pronounce damsel (audio) \

Definition of damsel

: a young woman:
a archaic : a young unmarried woman of noble birth
b : girl

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Synonyms for damsel


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Examples of damsel in a Sentence

knights are celebrated in fairy tales for rescuing damsels in distress
Recent Examples on the Web The story launches once again with a damsel-in-distress plotline: A princess is kidnapped, and Arthur must spring into side-scrolling action. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection’ updates everything but the sexist tropes," 23 Feb. 2021 Did Noelline find glory in being, for a short while, the talk of Naratrany, the damsel hotly contested by two doleful knights? Andrea Lee, The New Yorker, "The Rivals," 28 Dec. 2020 Miyamoto began tinkering with a story about a carpenter, a damsel in distress, and a giant ape. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, "Shigeru Miyamoto Wants to Create a Kinder World," 20 Dec. 2020 Newton sure is fun as Bad Millie, who can turn on the damsel-in-distress act when the Butcher needs to get out of a tight spot. Katie Walsh, chicagotribune.com, "‘Freaky’ review: Vince Vaughn is a revelation in gender-bending, body-swapping horror outing," 11 Nov. 2020 Newton sure is fun as Bad Millie, who can turn on the damsel-in-distress act when the Butcher needs to get out of a tight spot. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Vince Vaughn is a revelation in gender-bending, body-swapping ‘Freaky’," 11 Nov. 2020 Then came Sean Panikkar, lightning and swagger as Siegfried, our romantic hero and golden boy, savior-to-be of fair damsel Brünnhilde. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Opera Theatre drives into the pandemic era with a fresh take on a classic," 30 Oct. 2020 Old screams are not so scary — that damsel-in-distress stuff doesn’t play now. Melena Ryzik, New York Times, "They Scream! We Scream!," 29 Oct. 2020 While under contract with Warner Bros., de Havilland was often cast as a damsel in distress (usually alongside swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn). Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Olivia de Havilland, Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dies at 104," 27 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'damsel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of damsel

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for damsel

Middle English damesel, from Anglo-French dameisele, from Vulgar Latin *domnicella young noblewoman, diminutive of Latin domina lady

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Time Traveler for damsel

Time Traveler

The first known use of damsel was in the 13th century

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Statistics for damsel

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Damsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damsel. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for damsel



English Language Learners Definition of damsel

old-fashioned : a young woman who is not married


dam·​sel | \ ˈdam-zəl How to pronounce damsel (audio) \

Kids Definition of damsel

More from Merriam-Webster on damsel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for damsel

Nglish: Translation of damsel for Spanish Speakers

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