school·​marm | \ ˈskül-ˌmä(r)m How to pronounce schoolmarm (audio) \
variants: or schoolma'am \ ˈskül-​ˌmäm How to pronounce schoolma'am (audio) , -​ˌmam \

Definition of schoolmarm

1 : a woman who is a schoolteacher especially in a rural or small-town school
2 : a person who exhibits characteristics attributed to schoolteachers (such as strict adherence to arbitrary rules)

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Other Words from schoolmarm

schoolmarmish \ ˈskül-​ˌmä(r)-​mish How to pronounce schoolmarmish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of schoolmarm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At other times, Warren can summon a bit too fiercely — almost comically — her disapproving inner schoolmarm. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Elizabethan," 21 Aug. 2019 Her company doled out Fitbits — those digital schoolmarms that ceaselessly track their wearer’s every move — to teams of employees who competed against each other. Bina Venkataraman, Time, "How Your Obsession With Short-Term Results Can Hurt You in the Long Run," 23 Aug. 2019 In guises ranging from draconian schoolmarm to misanthropic homeless man (complete with scratchy voice and scraggly beard), Blanchett performs self-serious monologues assembled from excerpts of artistic manifestoes. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Cate Blanchett Dons 13 Guises in This Daring Art Installation," 26 July 2019 Artistic Director Martha Demson heads the ensemble in the role of the schoolmarm matriarch (played by Meryl Streep in the 1998 film adaptation). Philip Brandes,, "L.A. theater: An American pioneer tale reframed by a female and nonbinary cast," 5 July 2019 There's the area around the fireplace, the weird angle at the foot of the stairs, and the alcove for the schoolmarm's desk — centered between the girls' and boys' entrances — which has become a window seat. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "John Peixinho on How He Transformed a One-Room Schoolhouse Into a Home," 5 Feb. 2015 Kidman, who plays steely schoolmarm Martha Farnsworth, cited statistics about the discouragingly low number of women behind the camera when asked about opportunities in movies vs. television. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Cannes: Sofia Coppola's 'Beguiled' puts feminist spin on Clint Eastwood classic," 24 May 2017 Dykes makes Roz, a repressed and prissy schoolmarm — Aidy Bryant doing an impression of Margaret Dumont — ridiculous, yet hiding a volcano of lust underneath. Hampton Stevens,, "MET’s well-acted ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ feels like an homage to Dolly Parton," 15 May 2017

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

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for schoolmarm

school + marm, alteration of ma'am

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Statistics for schoolmarm

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for schoolmarm

The first known use of schoolmarm was in 1831

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English Language Learners Definition of schoolmarm

US, old-fashioned : a woman who teaches in a school in a small town or in the country

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