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mademoiselle

[mad-uh-muh-zel, mad-mwuh-, mam-zel; French mad-mwa-zel] /ˌmæd ə məˈzɛl, ˌmæd mwə-, mæmˈzɛl; French mad mwaˈzɛl/
noun, plural mademoiselles
[mad-uh-muh-zelz, mad-mwuh-, mam-zelz] /ˌmæd ə məˈzɛlz, ˌmæd mwə-, mæmˈzɛlz/ (Show IPA),
mesdemoiselles
[mey-duh-muh-zel, meyd-mwuh-zel; French meyd-mwa-zel] /ˌmeɪ də məˈzɛl, ˌmeɪd mwəˈzɛl; French meɪd mwaˈzɛl/ (Show IPA)
1.
(often initial capital letter) a French title of respect equivalent to “Miss”, used in speaking to or of a girl or unmarried woman:
Mademoiselle Lafitte.
Abbreviation: Mlle.
2.
a French governess.
3.
silver perch (def 1).
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < French; Old French ma damoisele my noble young lady; see madame, damsel
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mademoiselle

mademoiselle

/ˌmædmwəˈzɛl; French madmwazɛl/
noun (pl) mesdemoiselles (ˌmeɪdmwəˈzɛl; French) (medmwazɛl)
1.
a young unmarried French girl or woman: usually used as a title equivalent to Miss
2.
a French teacher or governess
Word Origin
C15: French, from ma my + demoiselledamsel
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 mademoiselle

mid-15c., "unmarried Frenchwoman," from French mademoiselle (12c.), from a compound of ma dameisele (see damsel), literally "young mistress."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for mademoiselle

the French equivalent of "Miss," referring to an unmarried female. Etymologically it means "my (young) lady" (ma demoiselle).

Learn more about mademoiselle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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17
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