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 These disingenuous characterizations — the zealous youngster and the wise schoolmarm — are trite. Armond White, National Review, "The Report’s Enhanced Cynicism Techniques," 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, "Inside the Mind of the Warren Voter," 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, "Milan: Less is more at Prada, Arbesser keeps it personal," 18 Sep. 2019 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

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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Statistics for schoolmarm

Last Updated

16 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Schoolmarm.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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How to pronounce schoolmarm (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with schoolmarm

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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