Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “ma'am”


noun [as form of address]     /mɑːm/
B1 a polite way of talking to a woman: How can I help you, ma'am?Friendly and unfriendly terms of address in Britain , used to address the Queen , or a woman of high rank in particular organizations , such as the army or the police Royalty, aristocracy and titles in the past, used when talking to a woman of higher social class Friendly and unfriendly terms of address
(Definition of ma'am noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of ma'am

Word of the Day

best man

a male friend or relation of the bridegroom who stands with him and helps him during a marriage ceremony

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More