—used archaically as a title prefixed to the name of a married or unmarried woman
chiefly Southern US and Midland US—used as a conventional title of courtesy except when usage requires the substitution of a title of rank or an honorific or professional title before a married woman's surname : mrs.sense 1a
: an often professional dominatrix
With each addition of pain or restraint, he stiffens slightly, then falls into a deeper calm, a deeper peace, waiting to obey his mistress.—Marianne Apostolides
The dog was always obedient to its master and mistress.
the master and mistress of the house
a married man who has a mistress
His wife suspected that the woman she'd seen with him was his mistress.
Recent Examples on the WebProsecutors submitted thousands of pages of evidence and a list of more than 100 potential witnesses, including Paxton’s alleged mistress and the developer Paul, a wealthy donor.—Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 The titular House of Flowers is both the family flower-shop business and the drag cabaret that the patriarch has been secretly running with his mistress.—Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 30 Aug. 2023 As the invitation in the social media post teases, Prince Charles (Dominic West) married his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles (Olivia Williams) in 2005 several years after the death of Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) in 1997.—Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2023 Driver plays the legendary Italian car maker Enzo Ferrari in the period drama, which co-stars Penélope Cruz as his wife Laura Ferrari and Shailene Woodley as Ferrari’s mistress and the mother of his second son, Pierro.—Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 Driver stars alongside Penelope Cruz as Ferrari’s wife Laura Ferrari and Shailene Woodley as his mistress Lina Lardi.—Sophia Scorziello, Variety, 30 Aug. 2023 Dating back to 1778, the original Georgian-style home that once stood on the property belonged to Maria Fitzherbert, most famously known as George IV’s mistress.—Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 8 Aug. 2023 She is said to have jibed them about Camilla’s great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, being the longtime mistress of King Edward VII.—Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2023 Su’s boss instructs her to lie about his whereabouts on calls from both his wife and his mistress.—Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mistress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English maistresse, from Anglo-French mestresse, feminine of mestre master — more at master