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[mam, mahm; unstressed muh m] /mæm, mɑm; unstressed məm/
madam (def 1).
(in Britain) a term used in addressing the queen or a royal princess.
Origin of ma'am
1660-70; by contraction Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ma'am
  • The baggers in the grocery store all politely called me ma'am.
British Dictionary definitions for ma'am


/mæm; mɑːm; unstressed məm/
short for madam
Usage note
Ma'am is used as a title of respect, especially when addressing female royalty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ma'am

also maam, 1660s, colloquial shortening of 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ma'am


Related Terms

wham-bam thank you ma'am

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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