from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An old woman, especially one who is considered ugly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Alternative spelling of beldame.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Grandmother; -- corresponding to belsire.
- n. An old woman in general; especially, an ugly old woman; a hag.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Grandmother: corresponding to belsire, grandfather: sometimes applied to a great-grandmother.
- n. An old woman in general, especially an ugly old woman; a hag.
- n. [A forced use of the F. belle dame.] Fair dame or lady.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an ugly evil-looking old woman
- n. a woman of advanced age
In the book, there’s a stark difference between Other Neighbors’ apartments before and after the beldam is trying to seduce Coraline.
Other Mom turns out to be a ferocious "beldam" who wants to entrap Coraline in this world, as she's done with other children.
I know Coraline was the main hero, mostly defeating the beldam in the Other World.
I (and JL) know that in the book Coraline tricks the beldam in to opening the door because she already has discovered the location of her parents.
It amused Durjik to observe Tomalak ignoring the young legislator in favor of responding to the bloviations of Senator Eleret, the beldam from the Remestrel clan.
Through this door the modern democrat arrives to the place where he is willing to allot two able-bodied men and two fine horses to the task of helping one wizened beldam to take the morning air.
That was the official aspect, of course; the important thing was the delightful surprise that the old beldam of Jhansi was as prime a goer as ever wriggled a hip, and just ripe for my kind of diplomacy.
"You did, did you?" says I. "Does every Briton in Jhansi leap to attention when this beldam snaps her fingers, then?"
"Why, they strike them, I suppose!" says the beldam.
The beldam caught her cue readily and by innuendo, without giving Lady
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