Definition of ma'am in English:



  • 1A term of respectful or polite address used for a woman.

    ‘excuse me, ma'am’
    • ‘‘That's all right, ma'am,’ said Eliza, who was beginning to feel that the WRACs were a ‘pretend army’, unlike that of the Squaddies.’
    • ‘With all due respect, ma'am, it would be best for you to hire someone other than yourself to put Caci through some intense therapy.’
    • ‘With all due respect, ma'am, she has already done that.’
    • ‘Just a ham-and-cheese on white bread, please, ma'am.’
    • ‘He stepped up to a nearby woman, ‘Excuse me, ma'am, but could you please tell me…‘’
    • ‘I need to know what's going on so I can be sure I'm putting you in touch with the right agency, ma'am.’
    • ‘Excuse me, ma'am: could ask the gentleman next to you to move so that I can get into the window seat?’
    • ‘‘With all due respect, ma'am,’ Kei started, ‘you really don't have authority over us yet.’’
    • ‘Asked if he understood, Curtis said, ‘Yes, ma'am.’’
    • ‘I couldn't help it, so I interrupted her here: ‘Excuse me ma'am, but where did you get all this information?’’
    • ‘Dario approached the lady, ‘Excuse me, ma'am, if you don't mind me asking, has anything been going on in this town?’’
    • ‘Oh, yes, yes, ma'am, sure, she's going to be a great champion, don't worry about that.’
    • ‘No offense, ma'am, but that's no excuse.’
    • ‘He replied: ‘Yes, ma'am, more than satisfied.’’
    • ‘Thereafter, if you do become drawn into a conversation, it is perfectly acceptable to address her as ma'am, Lord Crathorne says.’
    • ‘‘Excuse me, sir, ma'am, but I need to get a statement from each of you about what happened here today,’ states one of the fresh-faced officers from airline security.’
    • ‘The woman was interrupted with ‘Excuse me ma'am, can we help you?’’
    • ‘He responded with a polite ‘Yes, ma'am,’ to a series of questions from the judge, posed to determine his knowledge of the charges against him.’
    • ‘‘Your cabin would be this way, ma'am,’ said the polite young midshipman who was escorting her.’
    • ‘That's such a hard question, ma'am, because, you know, one of the things that Larry and I will both tell you is we've both had front-row seats for so much history.’
    1. 1.1 A term of address for a ranking female officer in the police or armed forces.
      • ‘‘Aye, ma'am,’ the officer of the deck said, and she gestured to the sensor station.’
      • ‘‘Thank you, ma'am,’ Elizabeth returned, ‘And Good-bye!’’
      • ‘He extended his hand to me and said quietly, ‘Take good care of him, ma'am.‘’
      • ‘‘That's why I keep him around, ma'am,’ Sean says, holding his pistol in one hand and a cigarillo in the other.’
      • ‘Well ma'am, I'm not sure if that will be possible.’
      • ‘‘Yes ma'am,’ said a police officer holding a camera.’
      • ‘What is wrong, ma'am, that you wanted to talk to me for?’
      • ‘Once again, you are very astute ma'am, that is why I think you might be of help to me in finding the murderer.’
      • ‘Only because, ma'am, he's a bigger person than I am and I'm sort of defenceless compared to him.’
      • ‘We'd particularly like to pass on our apologies to Her Majesty, we're pretty sure you'll be able to get the gravy off your regalia, ma'am.’
      • ‘Well, ma'am, I have known him since our senior year in high school.’
      • ‘Oh don't trouble yourself with that Mrs. Fox, ma'am, I have it all handled.’
      • ‘‘Yes ma'am,’ they said as they removed their goggles.’
      • ‘No offence, ma'am, they have tended to say, it's the system we object to, not you.’
      • ‘‘Um, ma'am,’ Chris called after the female agent, ‘we're looking for a woman with brown hair.’’
      • ‘Policewoman, ma'am, James can tell you who it is.’
      • ‘‘Yes ma'am,’ the trooper said, and there was an echo of her own disbelief in his face.’
      • ‘No one knows much about him, ma'am, only that he is not to be played around with.’
      • ‘I was unable to capture the captain himself, ma'am.’
      • ‘Uh, ma'am, I know you're not exaggerating.’
    2. 1.2British A term of address for female royalty.
      • ‘Why, yes, ma'am, I believe we were heading that way anyway.’
      • ‘And where were you before these events, ma'am?’
      • ‘So, if I could put it this way, ma'am, it is not only the quantity of your reign we are celebrating today, it is the quality.’
      • ‘‘It's raining on the bench too, ma'am,’ he told her.’
      • ‘I have called the doctor, and he is speaking to Mr. Cartwright now, ma'am.’
      • ‘‘You may indeed, ma'am,’ Ben replied, ‘She is in excellent health, as are my Father and sister.’’
      • ‘Should I bring out your evening dress, ma'am?’
      • ‘‘There's no secret, ma'am,’ Mr. Revere said, ‘we were speaking only of the famous beauty of Boston.’’
      • ‘‘I assure you, ma'am, I'm capable of doing most things you put before me,’ Enela explained confidently.’
      • ‘‘I'm sorry, ma'am,’ Elizabeth instantly apologized, ‘I didn't mean to implore.’’
      • ‘‘I'm sorry, ma'am,’ Jude apologized, putting his head down.’
      • ‘It's in the ornamental frame on the mantelpiece in your own bedroom, ma'am.’
      • ‘‘I shall wish to question each of you separately, ma'am,’ he said, and I nodded.’
      • ‘‘Certainly, ma'am,’ said the royal doctor, bowing.’
      • ‘‘Why thank you, ma'am,’ Pic chimed as he acted like he was curtsying.’
      • ‘They would have been on time, ma'am, I swear, if it hadn't been for my carelessness.’
      • ‘Well, you see ma'am, we've got a few positive responses towards the notion that she may be hiding on your boat.’
      • ‘Carmon Rosalind Maitfield at your service, ma'am.’
      • ‘‘He's already gone to shore, ma'am,’ said Peter.’
      • ‘The servants are talking, ma'am, and they're all saying that the murderer is on the loose.’


Mid 17th century: contraction of madam.