Definition of grande dame in English:

grande dame

noun

  • A woman holding an influential position within a particular sphere.

    ‘the grande dame of British sculpture’
    • ‘As the grande dame of French film, it's easy to appreciate why Baye was a little disconcerted by the film's title.’
    • ‘Margaret Court, the grande dame of tennis in Australia, agreed: ‘In Alicia we have got somebody who has it all.’’
    • ‘On this recording, made in 1990 (in the presence of the composer), she is something of a grande dame surrounded by three youthful companions.’
    • ‘Okay, so it's true that the grande dame of literary gender politics has calmed down an awful lot since the 1970s.’
    • ‘The grande dame of newspaper columnists was recently complaining that the electorate were behaving like unprincipled, selfish consumers.’
    • ‘Someone suggested she might like to reminisce with the other grande dame of the book festival.’
    • ‘The grande dame of tennis plans to play one more year on the circuit in hopes of representing the United States at the 2004 Athens Olympics - one minor hole in her sporting life.’
    • ‘At seventy-eight, Fox has a new-found and stylishly invigorated fame that gives her grande dame status for a swelling number of devotees who have come to recognize her charm, her wisdom, and her art.’
    • ‘But Hopper, who was the grande dame of gossip columnists at that time, she was constantly castigating us in the press for living in sin.’
    • ‘The celebrated grande dame of Hindi letters is very individual, very stylised, very hard to replicate in another language.’
    • ‘She was the grande dame of the American theatre.’
    • ‘Even television, the grande dame of conventional mass marketing, is taking steps to offer a more focused advertising experience.’
    • ‘All things considered, with this work, Lessing once again proves that she more than deserves her reputation as the grande dame of literary fiction.’
    • ‘On Friday morning of 11 th March, the grande dame of Indonesian cinema, Christine Hakim, sat with graceful poise for this interview.’
    • ‘Eighty next year, with a dozen novels behind her and as much writing again in other forms, Howard is still simmering with ideas and projects, still playing her part as a grande dame of English letters.’
    • ‘And I was pleased to see that Anne Summers, one of the grandes dames of Australian feminism, agrees with me.’
    • ‘The Stratford grande dame has heard it all over the course of a career that has included many of the great women's roles in the English repertoire.’
    • ‘My companion is something of a grande dame of the food world and is thus the perfect diner for the Lord Edward.’
    • ‘Withers, the grande dame of this and previous improv festivals, spoke about improvisation during the post-show reception onstage.’
    • ‘And that the most dignified thing we ageing grandes dames can do is smile wryly, surrender and follow the sun.’

Origin

French, literally ‘grand lady’.

Pronunciation

grande dame

/ɡrɒ̃d ˈdam/