grande dame

\ ˈgrän-ˈdäm How to pronounce grande dame (audio) \
plural grandes dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grandes dames (audio) \ also grande dames\ ˈgrän-​ˈdäm(z) How to pronounce grande dames (audio) \

Definition of grande dame

1 : a usually elderly woman of great prestige or ability

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Synonyms for grande dame


dame, dowager, matriarch, matron

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Examples of grande dame in a Sentence

the city's grandes dames still hold considerable sway in its cultural life

Recent Examples on the Web

Agnes Gund—or Aggie, as most everyone calls her—is the art world’s de facto grande dame. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Carolina Herrera, Chuck Close, and Cindy Sherman Celebrate Agnes Gund at MoMA’s Party in the Garden," 1 June 2018 Still, these grande dames — there were no computing systems or microchips in games when these were manufactured in the 1960s — are worth a token; when was the last time a spinning score reel tracked your progress? Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "Cheyenne," 10 July 2019 For convenience and classic Parisian elegance, pick Hotel Regina Louvre, a grande dame built for the 1900 World’s Fair opposite the Louvre museum and adjacent to Jardin des Tuileries. Amy Tara Koch, Twin Cities, "Finding European hotel rooms for families can be tough. Here are suggestions in 8 cities.," 6 July 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide Knives Out features a premise worthy of the grande dame of murder mysteries herself, Agatha Christie. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rian Johnson trades in lightsabers for postmodern whodunnit Knives Out," 2 July 2019 The Village Voice, the grande dame of alt-weeklies. Christine Biederman, WIRED, "Inside’s Vicious Battle With the Feds," 18 June 2019 For over thirty years, this Back Bay grande dame has been Boston's go-to place for an old-school steakhouse dinner. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Best Restaurants in Boston," 16 July 2018 There, deep in the recesses of a priceless landmark, a designer—or a grande dame—can work in peace and summon the forces of the past. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Exclusive: Tour Florence's Rarely Seen Palazzo Spini Feroni," 27 Feb. 2019 Photo: Knut Egil Wang for The Wall Street Jounal In April 1986, Norwegian actress Rut Tellefsen, a grande dame of the Oslo stage, bought the same apartment, which came with a basement studio. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Inside an Oslo Home Immortalized by Edvard Munch," 8 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grande dame.' 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 grande dame

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grande dame

French, literally, great lady

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Statistics for grande dame

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for grande dame

The first known use of grande dame was in 1775

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More Definitions for grande dame

grande dame


English Language Learners Definition of grande dame

: a usually old woman who is highly admired or respected

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Comments on grande dame

What made you want to look up grande dame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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