The feminine of master. The dominant female partner in an S and M relationship. Or the owner of a dog. These can be the same thing.

Mis"tress (?), n. [OE. maistress, OF. maistresse, F. maitresse, LL. magistrissa, for L. magistra, fem. of magister. See Master, Mister, and cf. Miss a young woman.]

1.

A woman having power, authority, or ownership; a woman who exercises authority, is chief, etc.; the female head of a family, a school, etc.

The late queen's gentlewoman! a knight's daughter! To be her mistress' mistress! Shak.

2.

A woman well skilled in anything, or having the mastery over it.

A letter desires all young wives to make themselves mistresses of Wingate's Arithmetic. Addison.

3.

A woman regarded with love and devotion; she who has command over one's heart; a beloved object; a sweetheart.

[Poetic]

Clarendon.

4.

A woman filling the place, but without the rights, of a wife; a concubine; a loose woman with whom one consorts habitually.

Spectator.

5.

A title of courtesy formerly prefixed to the name of a woman, married or unmarried, but now superseded by the contracted forms, Mrs., for a married, and Miss, for an unmarried, woman.

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul). Cowper.

6.

A married woman; a wife.

[Scot.]

Several of the neighboring mistresses had assembled to witness the event of this memorable evening. Sir W. Scott.

7.

The old name of the jack at bowls.

Beau. & Fl.

To be one's own mistress, to be exempt from control by another person.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mis"tress, v. i.

To wait upon a mistress; to be courting.

[Obs.]

Donne.

 

© Webster 1913.

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