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

Definition of damsel

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

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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 goal of course is to save humanity, but more often than not there is also an immediate need to rescue a damsel in distress. Cindi May, Scientific American, "The Problem with Female Superheroes," 23 June 2015 Her damsel-in-distress status introduces her to Leo. BostonGlobe.com, "So expect the upending of expectations: visual, emotional, tonal, generic. Especially generic. Is “First Love” a comedy? A crime thriller? A love story? An advertorial for subscriptions to," 3 Oct. 2019 This is a warrior woman who once grabbed a blaster instead of being the damsel-in-distress during a Death Star rescue, so why wouldn't Leia ascend to a hallowed place on the light side of the Force? Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! How 'The Rise of Skywalker' is a final 'Star Wars' tribute to Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia," 20 Dec. 2019 Thanks to a generation less apt to tolerate misogynistic tropes like damsels in distress, theatrical release romantic comedies have fallen more or less out of favor. Jessica Klein, Fortune, "‘Tis the Season for Holiday Movies—and Hallmark and Lifetime Aren’t Afraid of Netflix," 17 Dec. 2019 Click through the gallery to see the timeline of Disney Princesses through the years and find out how today’s heroines compare to the past’s damsels in distress. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The evolution of Disney Princesses, from Snow White to Frozen 2," 21 Nov. 2019 Society remains uneasy with female strength of any stripe and still prefers and champions delicate damsels — an outdated sentiment that limits all women. Teen Vogue, "Flo Ngala Captured Black Ice Skaters Beautifully," 28 Oct. 2019 Absent flame or smoke, stained glass explodes in silence, fractal scales of angel damsel rainbow parrot. Barbara Kingsolver, Time, "Read ‘Great Barrier,’ Barbara Kingsolver’s Wrenching Ode to Our Planet," 12 Sep. 2019 Like the show, which paid homage to silent film melodramas and presented variations of the same basic plot in every episode, the not-too-sharp Canadian Mountie tries to save damsel-in-distress Nell from the evil Snidley Whiplash. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "America's top log flume rides: Five of our favorites, from Splash Mountain to Ripsaw Falls," 17 June 2019

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

Cite this Entry

“Damsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damsel. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for damsel


How to pronounce damsel (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on damsel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for damsel

Spanish Central: Translation of damsel

Nglish: Translation of damsel for Spanish Speakers

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