Meaning of “madam” in the English Dictionary

"madam" in British English

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madamnoun

uk /ˈmæd.əm/ us /ˈmæd.əm/

madam noun (WOMAN)

B1 [ as form of address ] usually Madam a formal and polite way of speaking to a woman:

May I carry your suitcases for you, Madam?
Dear Madam

B2 the usual way of beginning a formal letter to a woman whose name you do not know

[ S ] UK disapproving a young girl who behaves like an older woman, expecting others to obey her:

She's turning into a proper little madam.

More examples

  • For a small consideration, madam, I'll show you the way there myself.
  • Is everything all right, madam?
  • I'm sorry, madam, the restaurant is fully booked.
  • I'm sorry, madam, but we have to go by the rules.
  • Can I interest you in our new range of kitchen fittings, madam?

madam noun (SEX)

[ C ] a woman who is in charge of a group of prostitutes who live or work in the same house

(Definition of “madam” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"madam" in American English

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madamnoun [ U ]

us /ˈmæd·əm/ contraction ma’am fml

a polite word used to address a woman, or a title for a woman used before a position:

"May I help you, madam?"
Madam President

A madam can also be a woman who is in charge of a brothel (= place where men pay to have sex with women)

(Definition of “madam” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"Madam" in Business English

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Madamnoun [ S ]

uk /ˈmædəm/ us formal

a formal and polite way of speaking to a woman:

May I carry your cases for you, Madam?
Dear Madam

the usual way of beginning a formal letter to a woman whose name you do not know:

Dear Madam, I am writing to enquire about ...
Madam Minister/President/Secretary/Speaker, etc.

POLITICS the official title used when speaking to a woman who has a senior position in a government:

Madam Secretary, are there any circumstances under which the United States would agree to this policy?

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(Definition of “Madam” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)