Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[mis-iz, miz-iz] /ˈmɪs ɪz, ˈmɪz ɪz/
plural Mmes.
[mey-dahm, -dam] /meɪˈdɑm, -ˈdæm/ (Show IPA)
a title of respect prefixed to the name of a married woman:
Mrs. Jones.
a title prefixed to a mock surname that is used to represent possession of a particular attribute, identity, etc., especially in an idealized or excessive way:
Mrs. Punctuality.
Origin of Mrs.
abbreviation of mistress
Can be confused
Mrs, Ms.
Usage note
See Ms.
Pronunciation note
Mrs., first recorded in the early 17th century, was originally, like Miss, an abbreviation of mistress. Mrs. and mistress were at first used interchangeably in all contexts, but by the second half of that century, the written form of the abbreviation was largely confined to use as a title preceding a woman's surname. By the early 19th century, reduction of the medial consonant cluster had contracted the usual pronunciation of the title from
[mis-tris] /ˈmɪs trɪs/ (Show IPA)
[mis-is] /ˈmɪs ɪs/
[mis-iz] /ˈmɪs ɪz/ .
The contracted pronunciation used other than as a title was not considered standard, and today, locutions like Let me discuss it with the missis are perceived as old-fashioned. Currently, two main types of pronunciation for the abbreviation occur in the United States;
[mis-iz] /ˈmɪs ɪz/
and sometimes
[mis-is] /ˈmɪs ɪs/
are the common forms in the North and North Midland, while in the South Midland and South, the prevalent types are
[miz-iz] /ˈmɪz ɪz/
[miz] /mɪz/
the latter homophonous with the usual pronunciation of the abbreviation Ms. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Mrs.
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I would to-day if I were going up there, and Mrs. Mason would give me some sandwiches.

    One Day's Courtship Robert Barr
  • He dined with the upper mess so that Mrs. Flynn could devote herself to Pen.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Mrs. Armstrong's air of excitement was very much in evidence.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The Secretary laughed so richly and so heartily that all but Mrs. Flynn joined him.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • He talked to Mrs. Halliday about one thing and another, and kept on talking.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
Word Origin and History for Mrs.

1580s, abbreviation of mistress (q.v.), originally in all uses of that word. The plural Mmes. is an abbreviation of French mesdames, plural of madame, used in English to serve as the plural of Mrs., which is lacking. Pronunciation "missis" was considered vulgar at least into 18c. (cf missus). The Mrs. "one's wife" is from 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for Mrs.


Used as a courtesy title for a married or widowed woman (from "mistress")
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for Mrs

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mrs.