mistress

mistress

[mis-tris]
noun
1.
a woman who has authority, control, or power, especially the female head of a household, institution, or other establishment.
2.
a woman employing, or in authority over, servants or attendants.
3.
a female owner of an animal, or formerly, a slave.
4.
a woman who has the power of controlling or disposing of something at her own pleasure: mistress of a great fortune.
5.
(sometimes initial capital letter) something regarded as feminine that has control or supremacy: Great Britain, the mistress of the seas.
6.
a women who is skilled in something, as an occupation or art.
7.
a woman who has a continuing, extramarital sexual relationship with one man, especially a man who, in return for an exclusive and continuing liaison, provides her with financial support.
8.
British. a female schoolteacher; schoolmistress.
9.
(initial capital letter) a term of address in former use and corresponding to Mrs., Miss, or Ms.
10.
Archaic. sweetheart.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English maistresse < Middle French, Old French, equivalent to maistre master + -esse -ess

mistressed, adjective
mistress-ship, noun


See -ess.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mistress (ˈmɪstrɪs)
 
n
1.  a woman who has a continuing extramarital sexual relationship with a man
2.  a woman in a position of authority, ownership, or control, such as the head of a household
3.  a woman or female personification having control over something specified: she was mistress of her own destiny
4.  chiefly (Brit) short for schoolmistress
5.  an archaic or dialect word for sweetheart
 
[C14: from Old French; see master, -ess]

Mistress (ˈmɪstrɪs)
 
n
an archaic or dialect title equivalent to Mrs

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mistress
c.1320, "female teacher, governess," from O.Fr. maistresse, fem. of maistre "master" (see master). Sense of "a woman who employs others or has authority over servants" is from 1426. Sense of "kept woman of a married man" is from 1430.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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