noun Date: 1668 madam

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ma'am — [ mæm ] noun SPOKEN 1. ) AMERICAN used for talking politely to a woman whose name you do not know: Excuse me, ma am, do you know what time it is? 2. ) BRITISH used for talking to a queen, princess, etc. or to a woman of high rank in the police or …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ma'am — [mæm, ma:m, məm US mæm] n [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: madam] 1.) AmE spoken used to address a woman in a polite and respectful way ▪ May I help you, ma am? 2.) BrE spoken used to address the Queen or another woman in authority …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Ma'am — Ma am, n. Madam; my lady; a colloquial contraction of madam often used in direct address, and sometimes as an appellation. Syn: dame, madam, madame, lady, gentlewoman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ma'am — ma am; school·ma am; …   English syllables

  • ma'am — also maam, 1660s, colloquial shortening of MADAM (Cf. madam) (q.v.). Formerly the ordinary respectful form of address to a married woman; later restricted to the queen and royal princesses or used by servants to their mistresses …   Etymology dictionary

  • ma'am — ► NOUN ▪ madam …   English terms dictionary

  • ma'am — [mam, mäm] n. Informal madam: used in direct address …   English World dictionary

  • ma’am —    A spelling which indicates a colloquial pronunciation of ‘madam’. John Dryden makes it clear that such pronunciation was in early use: ‘Madam me no madam, but learn to retrench your words; and say mam; as yes mam, and no mam, as other ladies’… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • ma'am — [[t]mæ̱m, mɑ͟ːm[/t]] N VOC (politeness) People sometimes say ma am as a very formal and polite way of addressing a woman whose name they do not know or a woman of superior rank. [mainly AM] Would you repeat that please, ma am? Syn: madam …   English dictionary

  • ma'am — UK [mæm] / US / UK [mɑːm] noun spoken 1) American used for talking politely to a woman whose name you do not know Excuse me, ma am, do you know what time it is? 2) British used for talking to a queen, princess etc or to a woman of high rank in… …   English dictionary

  • ma'am — I Canadian Slang see Sir . II Philippine English Filipinos sometimes refer to their superiors by their first names preceded by these terms. This practice is probably a literal translation of the Spanish practice of referring to superiors by their …   English dialects glossary

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