from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Used formerly as a courtesy title before a woman's given name but now used only before a surname or title indicating rank or office: Madam Ambassador.
- n. Used as a salutation in a letter: Dear Madam or Sir.
- n. Used as a form of polite address for a woman: Right this way, madam.
- n. The mistress of a household.
- n. A woman who manages a brothel. See Usage Note at mistress.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A gentlewoman; -- an appellation or courteous form of address given to a lady, especially an elderly or a married lady; -- much used in the address, at the beginning of a letter, to a woman. The corresponding word in addressing a man is
Sir; often abbreviated ma'am when used as a term of address.
- n. The woman who is in charge of a household.
- n. The woman who is in charge of a brothel.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. My lady; lady: originally a formal term of address to a lady (a woman of rank or authority, or the mistress of a household); now a conventional term of address to women of any degree, but chiefly to married and matronly women.
- n. A title used to designate women under the rank of Lady, but moving in respectable society; prefixed to a surname, equivalent to Mrs. Compare mistress.
- n. See the quotation. The use mentioned is not uncommon in all parts of the United States.
- n. A lady; a woman of fashion or pretension often used with a suggestion of disparagement: as, a conceited madam; city madams.
- To address as madam.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a woman who runs a house of prostitution
- n. a woman of refinement
Middle English madame, from Old French ma dame; see Madame.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)