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[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.
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Examples from the Web for mrs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes, it will serve him right,” replied mrs Seagrave; “and be a lesson to him.

    Masterman Ready Captain Frederick Marryat
  • mrs M. is a humbug—not a drop of information can I get for love or money.

  • mrs Jenkles dropped her work upon her lap, and her face grew very red.

    Thereby Hangs a Tale George Manville Fenn
  • mrs Verloc, on her back, and staring at the ceiling, made a remark.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The promise, also, so long made to mrs Harrel of an apartment in her house, was now performed.

    Cecilia, Volume 3 (of 3) Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)
British Dictionary definitions for mrs


noun (pl) Mrs, Mesdames
a title used before the name or names of a married woman
Word Origin
C17: originally an abbreviation of mistress
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 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for mrs


noun phrase

One's wife; the LITTLE WOMAN: He wanted the missus to get some sleep (1833+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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mrs in Technology

Modifiable Representation System.
An integration of logic programming into Lisp.
["A Modifiable Representation System", M. Genesereth et al, HPP 80-22, CS Dept Stanford U 1980].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for mrs


media recognition system
medical review systems


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.
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