Share this entry

Share this page

ma'am

Syllabification: ma'am

Definition of ma'am in English:

noun

1A term of respectful or polite address used for a woman: excuse me, ma’am
More example sentences
  • He responded with a polite ‘Yes, ma'am,’ to a series of questions from the judge, posed to determine his knowledge of the charges against him.
  • Thereafter, if you do become drawn into a conversation, it is perfectly acceptable to address her as ma'am, Lord Crathorne says.
  • With all due respect, ma'am, it would be best for you to hire someone other than yourself to put Caci through some intense therapy.
1.1A term of address for a ranking female officer in the police or armed forces.
Example sentences
  • Uh, ma'am, I know you're not exaggerating.
  • Only because, ma'am, he's a bigger person than I am and I'm sort of defenceless compared to him.
  • ‘Aye, ma'am,’ the officer of the deck said, and she gestured to the sensor station.
1.2British A term of address for female royalty.
Example sentences
  • ‘There's no secret, ma'am,’ Mr. Revere said, ‘we were speaking only of the famous beauty of Boston.’
  • I have called the doctor, and he is speaking to Mr. Cartwright now, ma'am.
  • Should I bring out your evening dress, ma'am?

Origin

mid 17th century: contraction of madam.

Words that rhyme with ma'am

alarm, arm, Bairam, balm, barm, becalm, calm, charm, embalm, farm, forearm, Guam, harm, imam, malm, Montcalm, Notre-Dame, palm, psalm, qualm, salaam, smarm

Definition of ma'am in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure