- (initial capital letter) (in Britain)
- the official title of a female member of the Order of the British Empire, equivalent to that of a knight.
- the official title of the wife of a knight or baronet.
- (formerly) a form of address to any woman of rank or authority.
- a matronly woman of advanced age; matron.
- Slang: Sometimes Offensive. a term used to refer to a woman: Some dame cut me off and almost caused an accident.
- Ecclesiastical. a title of a nun in certain orders.
- a mistress of a dame-school.
- Archaic. the mistress of a household.
- Archaic. a woman of rank or authority, especially a female ruler.
- (formerly) a woman of rank or dignity; lady
- a nun who has taken the vows of her order, esp a Benedictine
- archaic, mainly British a matronly or elderly woman
- slang, mainly US and Canadian a woman
- Also called: pantomime dame British the role of a comic old woman in a pantomime, usually played by a man
noun (in Britain)
- the title of a woman who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire or any of certain other orders of chivalry
- the legal title of the wife or widow of a knight or baronet, placed before her nameDame Judith Compare Lady
early 13c., from Old French dame “lady, mistress, wife,” from Late Latin domna, from Latin domina “lady, mistress of the house,” from Latin domus “house” (see domestic). Legal title for the wife of a knight or baronet. Slang sense of “woman” first attested 1902 in American English.