1A term of respectful or polite address used for:
- 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.
1.2British A female officer in the police or armed forces who is senior to the speaker.
- 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.
1.3North American or archaic A woman.
- Wasn't the new kid supposed to be really shy, and call the teacher ma'am, and have all the girls pining over him?
- Must get draughty in them big ole houses, ma'am.
- If you please, sir and ma'am, take your quarrel outside, or let me go outside, I don't think I have your kind of energy.
Mid 17th century: contraction of madam.
Words that rhyme with ma'amalarm, arm, Bairam, balm, barm, becalm, calm, charm, embalm, farm, forearm, Guam, harm, imam, malm, Montcalm, Notre-Dame, palm, psalm, qualm, salaam, smarm
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