Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Used as a courtesy title before the surname or full name of a girl or single woman.
  • noun Used as a form of polite address for a girl or young woman.
  • noun A young unmarried woman.
  • noun Used in informal titles for a young woman to indicate the epitomizing of an attribute or activity.
  • noun A series of clothing sizes for women and girls of average height and proportions.
  • intransitive verb To fail to hit, reach, catch, or otherwise make contact with.
  • intransitive verb To be too late for or fail to meet (a train, for example).
  • intransitive verb To fail to perceive, experience, or understand.
  • intransitive verb To fail to accomplish or achieve.
  • intransitive verb To fail to attend or perform.
  • intransitive verb To fail to answer correctly.
  • intransitive verb To fail to benefit from; let slip.
  • intransitive verb To escape or avoid.
  • intransitive verb To discover the absence or loss of.
  • intransitive verb To be without; lack.
  • intransitive verb To feel the lack or loss of.
  • intransitive verb To fail to hit or otherwise make contact with something.
  • intransitive verb To be unsuccessful; fail.
  • intransitive verb To misfire, as an internal-combustion engine.
  • noun A failure to hit or make contact with something.
  • noun A failure to be successful.
  • noun The misfiring of an engine.
  • idiom (miss fire) To fail to discharge. Used of a firearm.
  • idiom (miss fire) To fail to achieve the anticipated result.
  • idiom (miss out on) To lose a chance for.
  • idiom (miss the boat) To fail to avail oneself of an opportunity.
  • idiom (miss the boat) To fail to understand.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Wrongly; badly; amiss.
  • noun Mistress: a reduced form of this title, which, so reduced, came to be regarded, when prefixed to the name of a young woman or girl, as a sort of diminutive, and was especially applied to young girls (corresponding to master as applied to young boys), older unmarried girls or women being styled mistress even in the lifetime of the mother; later, and in present use, a title prefixed to the name of any unmarried woman or girl.
  • noun A young unmarried woman; a girl, in this sense chiefly colloquial; in trade use it has reference to sizes, etc.: as, ladies', misses', and children's shoes.
  • noun A mistress (of a household). [Southern U. S., in negro use.] [In this use a direct abbr. of mistress in the same sense—a slang use, independent of the above.] A kept mistress.
  • noun An abbreviation
  • noun of Mississippi;
  • noun of mission, missionary.
  • noun A failure to find, reach, catch, hit, grasp, obtain, or attain; want of success.
  • noun Error; fault; misdeed; wrong-doing; sin.
  • noun Hurt or harm from mistake or accident.
  • noun Loss; want; hence, a feeling of loss.
  • noun Specifically, in printing, a failure on the part of the person feeding the blank sheets to a press to supply a sheet at the right moment for impression.
  • noun In the game of loo, an extra hand dealt out, for which the players in turn have the option of exchanging their own.
  • To fail to reach or attain; come short of, or go aside or deviate from, as what is aimed at, expected, or desired; fail to hit, catch, or grasp: as, to miss the mark.
  • To fail or come short of, as from lack of capacity or opportunity; fail to be, find, attain to, or accomplish (what one might or should have been, found, attained to, or accomplished): as, he just missed being a poet; you have missed your true vocation.
  • To fail to find, get, or keep; come short of having or receiving; fail to obtain or enjoy: as, to miss the way or one's footing; to miss a meal or an appointment.
  • To become aware of the loss or absence of; find to be lacking; note or deplore the absence of; feel the want or need of: as, to miss one's watch or purse; to miss the comforts of home; to miss the prattle of a child.
  • To fail to note, perceive, or observe; overlook or disregard: as, to miss the best points of a play.
  • To escape; succeed in avoiding.
  • To omit; leave out; skip, as a word in reciting or a note in singing.
  • To do without; dispense with; spare.
  • To lack; be deprived of.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English missen, from Old English missan; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for mistress.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mistress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English missen, from Old English missan ("to miss, escape the notice of a person"), Proto-Germanic *missijanan (“to miss, go wrong, fail”), from Proto-Indo-European *meit- (“to change, exchange, trade”). Cognate with North Frisian missen ("to miss"), Dutch missen ("to miss"), German vermissen ("to do without, miss"), Swedish missa ("to miss"), Icelandic missa ("to lose").

Examples

  • "I beg your pardon, Miss Margaret; were you asleep, miss?"

    Margaret Montfort

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • When he was small, our son—your grandson—used to confuse the word love with the word miss.

    Life As We Know It

  • Whether this "miss" is due to son Todd (Anne's heir apparent to the Pern empire) is difficult to say.

    Dragon's Kin

Comments

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  • In Slovene, this English word has made it into the Dictionary of Standard Slovene with the meaning "a woman chosen as the most beautiful at a beauty contest; a beauty queen". Interestingly, it is used not as an honorific but as a noun in its own right. In other words, Slovenes don't say, "Rebeka Dremelj was Miss Slovenia in 2001" but "Rebeka Dremelj was the miss i.e. beauty queen of Slovenia in 2001."

    July 29, 2008

  • rolig: Is the pronunciation the same as in English?

    July 29, 2008

  • frogappl: well, the "i" is pronounced in the Continental fashion (like the "i" in "machine"), so the word sounds pretty much like the surname of Reagan's attorney general.

    July 29, 2008

  • mouse, mice, MEESE. Got it! Thanks.

    August 17, 2008

  • Is it weird, or just pathetic, that I miss my fellow Wordies so much now that I haven't had time to hang out on the site?

    November 30, 2009

  • We miss you too bearness.

    November 30, 2009

  • It may be weird and/or pathetic, but it's true. Same goes for me when I'm torn from the keyboard. :-)

    December 2, 2009