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madame

[muh-dam, -dahm, ma-; mad-uh m; French ma-dam] /məˈdæm, -ˈdɑm, mæ-; ˈmæd əm; French maˈdam/
noun, plural mesdames
[mey-dam, -dahm; French mey-dam] /meɪˈdæm, -ˈdɑm; French meɪˈdam/ (Show IPA).
(often initial capital letter)
1.
a French title of respect equivalent to “Mrs.”, used alone or prefixed to a woman's married name or title:
Madame Curie.
2.
(in English) a title of respect used in speaking to or of an older woman, especially one of distinction, who is not of American or British origin.
Abbreviation: Mme.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < French; see madam
Can be confused
madam, madame.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for madame

madame

/ˈmædəm; French madam/
noun (pl) mesdames (ˈmeɪˌdæm; French) (medam)
1.
a married Frenchwoman: usually used as a title equivalent to Mrs, and sometimes extended to older unmarried women to show respect and to women of other nationalities
Word Origin
C17: from French. See madam
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 madame

1590s, see madam, which is an earlier borrowing of the same French phrase. Originally a title of respect for a woman of rank, now given to any married woman. OED recommends madam as an English title, madame in reference to foreign women.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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