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

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 Tom Cruise plays the humble hero, Mia Sara the damsel in distress and Tim Curry the demonic villain in this sumptuous 1985 fantasy tale directed by Ridley Scott. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 The cover is Channing Tatum on horseback holding a damsel. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 1 Apr. 2022 Moving even faster than the train is a flying saucer emanating a bright cone of light and clearly intent on beaming up the damsel. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 3 Apr. 2022 Similarly, Collins, redefines Dejah Thoris from the nearly naked damsel in distress to Barsoom’s chief scientist and a warrior who frequently out-fights Carter. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2022 Film critics have praised the chemistry between Bullock and Tatum, whose Fabian-esque character attempts to come to Loretta’s rescue but subverts tropes about the damsel in distress. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 22 Mar. 2022 Of 6,016 damsel and dragonfly species, 16 percent are at risk of extinction, or about 962 species total, reports Holly Bancroft for the Independent. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Dec. 2021 The documentary may reiterate the popular story that Diana was a both a strong woman and a helpless damsel-in-distress, one crushed between centuries-old traditions and contemporary, toxic celebrity culture. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 21 Jan. 2022 Swann spends a shocking amount of the movie being damsel-ed yet again. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near damsel



damsel bug

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Statistics for damsel

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Damsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damsel. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for damsel


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

Kids Definition of damsel

More from Merriam-Webster on damsel

Nglish: Translation of damsel for Spanish Speakers


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