Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: ma dame 'my lady'

madam

noun
     
mad‧am
1 formal used to address a woman in a polite way, especially a customer in a shop [= ma'am American English]
Are you being served, Madam?
2

Dear Madam

formalTCM used at the beginning of a business letter to a woman, when you do not know her name
3

Madam President/Ambassador etc

PG used to address a woman who has an important official position
4 [countable] a woman who is in charge of a brothel
5

a (proper) little madam

British English informal a young girl who is very confident and who expects other people to do everything she wants

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