Synonym for woman, with different connotations depending on where you are. In some plaecs, dame is a title of respect. (See: Notre Dame de Paris) In other places, it is an insult, similar to floozie or slut. In still other places, it is simply a title with no values attached to it, as in the case of Dame Edna.

The formal title equivalent to the male knight's "Sir".

Dame (?), n. [F. dame, LL. domna, fr. L. domina mistress, lady, fem. of dominus master, ruler, lord; akin to domare to tame, subdue. See Tame, and cf. Dam mother, Dan, Danger, Dangeon, Dungeon, Dominie, Don, n., Duenna.]

1.

A mistress of a family, who is a lady; a woman in authority; especially, a lady.

Then shall these lords do vex me half so much, As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife. Shak.

2.

The mistress of a family in common life, or the mistress of a common school; as, a dame's school.

In the dame's classes at the village school.

Emerson.

3.

A woman in general, esp. an elderly woman.

4.

A mother; -- applied to human beings and quadrupeds.

[Obs.]

Chaucer.

 

© Webster 1913.

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