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grande dame

[gran dam, deym; French grahnd dam] /ˈgræn ˈdæm, ˈdeɪm; French grɑ̃d ˈdam/
noun, plural grandes dames
[gran damz, deymz; French grahnd dam] /ˈgræn ˈdæmz, ˈdeɪmz; French grɑ̃d ˈdam/ (Show IPA)
a usually elderly woman of dignified or aristocratic bearing.
a woman who is the doyenne of a specific field:
a grande dame of the American theater.
Origin of grande dame
1735-45; < French: literally, great lady Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grande dame
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But can a grande dame, as she is, ever have too much dignity of the soul?

    December Love Robert Hichens
  • Monsieur and the grande dame were at Baden when the former died.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • An exquisite portrait of a fine old lady, true helpmate and grande dame of the Victorian era.

  • You play the grande dame so well, that you are sure to reap the penalty of it.

    A Romantic Young Lady Robert Grant
  • "She will be quite the grande dame, by and by," said one lady, watching her that night.

    Name and Fame Adeline Sergeant
  • The grande dame of Geneseo did not agree with any of these makeshifts.

    Peter F. Hopkinson Smith
  • She was formally courteous, elaborately gracious, but grande dame from her shoe-tie to the top-knot of her cap.

  • And this must all tell with a banker's daughter, dying, of course, to be a grande dame.

    Endymion Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for grande dame

grande dame

/ɡrɑ̃d dam/
a woman regarded as the most experienced, prominent, or venerable member of her profession, etc: the grande dame of fashion
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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