[mad-uh-muh-zel, mad-mwuh-, mam-zel; French mad-mwa-zel]
noun, plural mademoiselles [mad-uh-muh-zelz, mad-mwuh-, mam-zelz] , mesdemoiselles [mey-duh-muh-zel, meyd-mwuh-zel; French meyd-mwa-zel] .
(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.
a French governess.
silver perch ( def 1 ).

1635–45; < French; Old French ma damoisele my noble young lady; see madame, damsel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mademoiselle (ˌmædmwəˈzɛl, French madmwazɛl)
n , pl mesdemoiselles
1.  a young unmarried French girl or woman: usually used as a title equivalent to Miss
2.  a French teacher or governess
[C15: French, from ma my + demoiselledamsel]

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

mid-15c., "unmarried Frenchwoman," from Fr. (12c.), from a compound of ma dameisele (see damsel), lit. "young mistress."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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