ma'am

noun
\ ˈmam How to pronounce ma'am (audio) , after "yes" often əm \

Definition of ma'am

: madam used without a name as a form of respectful or polite address to a womanThank you, ma'am."Yes, ma'am. Come in, ma'am. I'll tell Miss Lavendar you're here, ma'am. She's upstairs, ma'am."— Lucy Maud Montgomery"My dear ma'am," said the parson, replying in preference to the lady …— Edward Bulwer-LyttonShe looked down at him and said, "He most certainly is a large dog." "Yes ma'am," I told her. "He has a large heart, too."— Kate DiCamillo

Examples of ma'am in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps my overall disappointment stems from this pilot stiffness, but the more likely culprit is the standard brashness of American reality television, which is less cinema vérité and more wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Lego Masters': TV Review," 4 Feb. 2020 No, ma'am — getting sick is definitely not worth skipping a short blow-dry sesh. Emilie Branch, Allure, "The 11 Best Diffusers for Blow-Drying Curly Hair," 4 Oct. 2018 But like much of the South, please, thank you, sir, ma'am, and a good helping of eye contact are all the norm. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Nashville," 26 Feb. 2018 But there's something in my room that doesn't feel right ma'am. Country Living, "Some Seriously Eerie Things Happened To Me At This Classic San Francisco Hotel," 26 Oct. 2016 No, ma'am — getting sick is definitely not worth skipping a short blow-dry sesh. Emilie Branch, Allure, "The 11 Best Diffusers for Blow-Drying Curly Hair," 4 Oct. 2018 But there's something in my room that doesn't feel right ma'am. Country Living, "Some Seriously Eerie Things Happened To Me At This Classic San Francisco Hotel," 26 Oct. 2016 But like much of the South, please, thank you, sir, ma'am, and a good helping of eye contact are all the norm. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Nashville," 26 Feb. 2018 Josh Hedrick [in court]: Give us your name please, ma'am. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Raynella Leath: The Widow on Solway Road," 30 Sep. 2017

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

1668, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ma'am

Time Traveler

The first known use of ma'am was in 1668

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Cite this Entry

“Ma'am.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ma%27am. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for ma'am

ma'am

noun
How to pronounce ma'am (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ma'am

US used to politely speak to a woman who you do not know
British used to speak to the Queen or to a woman of high rank in the police or military

ma'am

noun
\ ˈmam How to pronounce ma'am (audio) \

Kids Definition of ma'am

More from Merriam-Webster on ma'am

Nglish: Translation of ma'am for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ma'am

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