Definition of damsel in English:

damsel

noun

archaic, literary
  • A young unmarried woman.

    • ‘He said: ‘They really enjoyed becoming knights on horseback and medieval damsels.’’
    • ‘Basher introduces us to beautiful damsels, obnoxious sisters, indescribably evil villains and horrifying monsters.’
    • ‘The story goes that a young damsel was at the top of the tower when she saw her husband gored to death by a stag he was hunting.’
    • ‘He had heard it said that her innocent demeanour combined with her intelligent mind made her a refreshing change from mindlessly demure damsels.’
    • ‘The young damsel has been captured by baddie pirate Barbossa because she possesses a rare coin.’
    • ‘He would never sense the spirit, the gaiety in courting a young damsel.’
    • ‘Apart from creating the right ambience, damsels dressed in traditional attire of each country stood beside the display and dished out facts about the fare.’
    young woman, young lady, miss, girl
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • damsel in distress

    • humorous A young woman in trouble.

      ‘she makes a rather sweet damsel in distress’
      • ‘Jessica says women who play the damsel in distress to attract men make her mad.’
      • ‘You try to be tough when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair.’
      • ‘I have often been called upon as a quasi-knight in shining car when someone has needed me, and I guess Lea was just a damsel in distress.’
      • ‘Unlike many would-be damsels in distress, I never imagined myself being rescued by a knight in shining armor.’
      • ‘The St George's Day parade will include the saint and his dragon and damsels in distress.’
      • ‘The original ‘King Kong’ also featured one of movie's all-time damsels in distress, Fay Wray as Ann Darrow.’
      • ‘These were not damsels in distress - they were strong women making a mark, fighting as equal partners with men.’
      • ‘I wasn't in the least inclined to go out actually being physical and brave, or doing any kind of smiting of dragons, or rescuing damsels in distress.’
      • ‘She is thereafter the traditional damsel in distress and it would appear that her ‘femaleness’ is what prevents her from saving herself.’
      • ‘I felt as if he was my angel, and I was the damsel in distress.’
      • ‘Upon finding out that she was single, the next day there were lots of articles making her out to be a desperate bachelorette, but this woman is no damsel in distress.’
      • ‘It's no surprise this archaic system was born out of the medieval ages - jousting matches between knights, damsels in distress and all.’
      • ‘Turrets, towers and battlements now look fit to accommodate any damsel in distress.’
      • ‘His two friends had located him and had enlisted the services of a young girl to pose as a damsel in distress to lure Don Quixote into their hands.’
      • ‘Do you always go around saving damsels in distress?’
      • ‘Oates stars as a bounty hunter who is persuaded to lead an unnamed and demanding damsel in distress across the desert on horseback.’
      • ‘It is I, sir Trent, Knight of the round table, and protector of damsels in distress.’
      • ‘The fun then moved to the pageant meadow behind the Abbey where around 1,000 people watched St George valiantly rescue a damsel in distress and kill the dragon.’
      • ‘Don't we have any knights left to take care of the damsels in distress?’
      • ‘Wray's career has been forever remembered for her screams in King Kong, a damsel in distress in the grasp of a giant gorilla atop the Empire State Builing.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French dameisele, damisele, based on Latin domina ‘mistress’.

Pronunciation

damsel

/ˈdamz(ə)l/