schoolmarm

noun
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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 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, "Too Hot to Handle," 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, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of schoolmarm

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for schoolmarm

school + marm, alteration of ma'am

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about schoolmarm

Time Traveler for schoolmarm

Time Traveler

The first known use of schoolmarm was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Statistics for schoolmarm

Cite this Entry

“Schoolmarm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schoolmarm. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for schoolmarm

schoolmarm

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on schoolmarm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for schoolmarm

Comments on schoolmarm

What made you want to look up schoolmarm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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