madame

madame

[muh-dam, -dahm, ma-; mad-uhm; French ma-dam] ,
noun, plural mesdames [mey-dam, -dahm; French mey-dam] . (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; < French; see madam

madam, madame.
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World English Dictionary
madame (ˈmædəm, French madam)
 
n , pl mesdames
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
 
[C17: from French. See madam]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

madame
1599, see madam, which is an earlier borrowing of the same Fr. phrase. Originally a title of respect for a woman of rank, now given to any married woman. OED recommends madam as an Eng. title, madame in ref. to foreign women.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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