- a plural of madam.
- plural of madame.
noun, plural mes·dames [mey-dam, –dahm] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm/ for 1; mad·ams for 2, 3.
- (often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority: Madam President; May I help you, madam?
- the woman in charge of a household: Is the madam at home?
- the woman in charge of a house of prostitution.
noun, plural mes·dames [mey-dam, –dahm; French mey-dam] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm; French meɪˈdam/. (often initial capital letter)
- a French title of respect equivalent to “Mrs.”, used alone or prefixed to a woman’s married name or title: Madame Curie.
- (in English) a title of respect used in speaking to or of an older woman, especially one of distinction, who is not of American or British origin. Abbreviation: Mme.
- the plural of madame, madam (def. 1)
noun plural madams or for sense 1 mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm)
- a polite term of address for a woman, esp one considered to be of relatively high social status
- a woman who runs a brothel
- British informal a precocious or pompous little girl
- the madam Southern African informal the lady of the house
noun plural mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm, French medam)
- a married Frenchwoman: usually used as a title equivalent to Mrs, and sometimes extended to older unmarried women to show respect and to women of other nationalities
plural of French madame (see madam). c.1300, from Old French ma dame, literally “my lady,” from Latin mea domina (cf. madonna). Meaning “female owner or manager of a brothel” is first attested 1871. 1590s, see madam, which is an earlier borrowing of the same French phrase. Originally a title of respect for a woman of rank, now given to any married woman. OED recommends madam as an English title, madame in reference to foreign women.