madam

noun
mad·​am | \ˈma-dəm \
plural madams

Definition of madam 

1a plural mesdames\ mā-​ˈdäm , -​ˈdam\ : lady used without a name as a form of respectful or polite address to a woman Right this way, madam.

b Madam used as a conventional form of address in the salutation of a letter

2 : mistress sense 1 used as a title formerly with the given name but now with the surname or especially with a designation of rank or office Madam ChairmanMadam President

3 : the female head of a house of prostitution

4 : the female head of a household : wife every once in a while the madam and I will order a book that we've read about— H. S. Truman

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Synonyms for madam

Synonyms

helpmate, helpmeet, lady, little woman, missus (or missis), Mrs., old lady, wife, wifey, woman [chiefly dialect]

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Examples of madam in a Sentence

the madam and I are planning to go out for a nice dinner on our anniversary

Recent Examples on the Web

In this April 27, 2018, photo, owner Dennis Hof, left, jokes with madam Sonja Bandolik at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev. chicagotribune.com, "Brothel bans weighed in Nevada as legal pimp runs for office," 11 June 2018 The play, about a 19th-century madam who ran a successful brothel in the area, had been researched and written by inmates at the Indiana Women's Prison. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "With Bryan Fonseca's new theater, the near west is growing into a major arts hub," 23 June 2018 Sonja Bandolik, the brothel's 58-year-old madam who also works as a prostitute, said women there sign a contract for at least two weeks — enough time to get a background check and prostitution license from the local sheriff. chicagotribune.com, "Brothel bans weighed in Nevada as legal pimp runs for office," 11 June 2018 Sonja Bandolik, the brothel’s 58-year-old madam who also works as a prostitute, said women there sign a contract for at least two weeks — enough time to get a background check and prostitution license from the local sheriff. Time, "A Brothel Owner Is Running for Office in Nevada as a Republican," 11 June 2018 At separate ends of town, two buxom madams and their bevies of painted, frilled and scandalously clad ladies welcomed miners and threw lavish parties. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Historic California Ghost Town Is Up For Sale," 16 June 2018 Unlike Dolores, Maeve was programmed with an edge, but she was also programmed as a natural leader, a madam who looked out for her charges and was constantly under siege from (scripted) robberies. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 The series follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a madam in an eighteenth-century London brothel and focuses on the tension between the brothels and new religious reformation ideas. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 10 best British period dramas to watch right now," 12 Apr. 2018 Madame Claude, born Fernande Grudet on July 6, 1923, in Angers, France, was one of the world’s most successful madams. Larry Getlen, Fox News, "Inside JFK's door-to-door search for a French call girl -- and why she had to look like Jackie," 24 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for madam

Middle English, from Anglo-French ma dame, literally, my lady

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Time Traveler for madam

The first known use of madam was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for madam

madam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of madam

—used to politely speak to a woman who you do not know

Madam —used at the start of a formal letter to a woman whose name you do not know

Madam —used when you are speaking to a woman who has a high rank or position

madam

noun
mad·​am | \ˈma-dəm \
plural mesdames\ mā-​ˈdäm, -​ˈdam \

Kids Definition of madam

used without a name as a form of polite address to a woman May I help you, madam?

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