woman; a lady. A polite term of address. Abbreviation: Mdm. Plural: mesdames.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English borrowing from the French, ma dame , my lady, my beloved. In the Renaissance its meaning shifted referring to a kept mistress, a prostitute and later the manageress of a brothel.
2. Respectful and courteous form of address for a woman, especially if elderly or married, formerly used as a courtesy title before a woman's given name but now used mostly before a surname or title indicating rank or office. Madam Chairman. Madam President. Madam Ambassador.
4. Or: madame , a woman who manages a brothel, derived from its original meaning of mistress of the house or woman in charge of the household.
Synonyms: abbess; ass middlewoman; aunt; bawd; brothel-keeper; case keeper; Covent Garden abbess; crack detail woman; dress lodger; female pimp; governess; house-mother; housekeeper; housemother; Lady Abbess; landlady; mama-san; mother damnable; mother; mother abbess; mother hollyhock; moher midnight; mother of the maids; mother superior; presbyteress; procuress; proxenetist; she-pimp; sister-in-law; skirt woman; tenderloin madam; victualler; whoremistress.
(2) Sung by Queenie (Raquel Welch) in The Wild Party (1975): ' Sally turned from Miss to Madam.'