Definitions

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

Etymologies

Middle English, grandmother : bel, indicating respect (from Old French bel, fine, from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots) + dame, lady; see dame.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • In the book, there’s a stark difference between Other Neighbors’ apartments before and after the beldam is trying to seduce Coraline.

    Movie Review – Coraline « Become A Robot

  • Other Mom turns out to be a ferocious "beldam" who wants to entrap Coraline in this world, as she's done with other children.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • I know Coraline was the main hero, mostly defeating the beldam in the Other World.

    Movie Review – Coraline « Become A Robot

  • 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.

    Movie Review – Coraline « Become A Robot

  • 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.

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

  • 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.

    DARKWATER

  • 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.

    Fiancée

  • "You did, did you?" says I. "Does every Briton in Jhansi leap to attention when this beldam snaps her fingers, then?"

    Fiancée

  • "Why, they strike them, I suppose!" says the beldam.

    THE NUMBERS

  • The beldam caught her cue readily and by innuendo, without giving Lady

    The Bride of Lammermoor

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