mad·​am ˈma-dəm How to pronounce madam (audio)
plural madams
plural mesdames mā-ˈdäm How to pronounce madam (audio)
: lady
used without a name as a form of respectful or polite address to a woman
Right this way, madam.
used as a conventional form of address in the salutation of a letter
: 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 Chairman
Madam President
: the female head of a house of prostitution
: the female head of a household : wife
every once in a while the madam and I will order a book that we've read aboutH. S. Truman

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 The documents were previously sealed or redacted as part of a 2015 lawsuit between Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre and Maxwell, the disgraced financier's longtime girlfriend and madam who was convicted in federal court for her role helping lure girls and young women into his orbit. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 9 Jan. 2024 The order comes as part of a 2015 lawsuit between Giuffre and Epstein's madam, Maxwell. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 21 Dec. 2023 As Howard had with Henry, a man named William Mara became close to the younger madam. Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 Christina was on the cover of Blender, dressed like a madam from the Old West. Jeff Nelson, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2023 Screams, moans and zombies, as well as dozens of demonic clowns, roamed the Long Beach Convention Center all in celebration of the sixth Midsummer Scream convention, celebrating Halloween and horror. CALIFORNIA How a madam at Chinese massage parlors outside L.A. took on federal law enforcement. Karim Doumar, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 According to Stone, the madam looked more like a Victorian era librarian than the head of what was to become a large prostitution syndicate centered on Ogden’s 25th Street. Mark Eddington, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 July 2023 Jeff Vespa / WireImage file The lowest points of his public life came during a yearslong criminal case in Los Angeles County when he was accused of beating up his girlfriend at the time, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 4 Mar. 2023 In 2003, he was convicted of domestic violence charges against his ex-girlfriend, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. CBS News, 3 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'madam.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near madam

Cite this Entry

“Madam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


mad·​am ˈmad-əm How to pronounce madam (audio)
plural mesdames mā-ˈdäm How to pronounce madam (audio)
used as a form of polite address to a woman
used as a title especially before the name of rank or office of a high-ranking woman
Madam President

Middle English madam "woman of rank or authority, lady," from early French ma dame, literally "my lady," from Latin domina "mistress, lady," feminine form of dominus "master, owner" — related to dame, dominate, madonna

More from Merriam-Webster on madam

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!