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

Examples of schoolmarm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On hand to enforce the rules is an electronic schoolmarm called Lana, who resembles a Google Home under the influence of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Judy Berman, Time, 16 Apr. 2020 The October 2019 cover of Harper’s Bazaar featured Demi Moore dressed in Victorian schoolmarm wear, replete with knotted collar and wire-rimmed glasses. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, 11 Feb. 2020 These disingenuous characterizations — the zealous youngster and the wise schoolmarm — are trite. Armond White, National Review, 20 Nov. 2019 All the the things people criticize her for — schoolmarm-ish, lecturing, dour, droning — are music to your ears. Jim Geraghty, National Review, 23 Sep. 2019 The sometimes austere looks at times summoned images or elements of puritans, nuns, and schoolmarms — all with a subversive fashion edge. Colleen Barry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Sep. 2019 At other times, Warren can summon a bit too fiercely — almost comically — her disapproving inner schoolmarm. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 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, 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, 26 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for schoolmarm

Time Traveler

The first known use of schoolmarm was in 1831

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Cite this Entry

“Schoolmarm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for schoolmarm



English Language Learners Definition of schoolmarm

: a woman who teaches in a school in a small town or in the country

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for schoolmarm


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