from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Used as a form of polite address for a woman: Will that be cash or charge, ma'am?
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A contracted form of madam
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Madam; my lady; -- a colloquial contraction of madam often used in direct address, and sometimes as an appellation.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A common colloquial contraction of madam, used especially in answers, after yes and no, or interrogatively, when one expects or has not distinctly heard a question.
- n. At the British Court it is used, instead of ‘madam,’ in addressing the queen or a royal princess.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a woman of refinement
Anyone in harness to her Majesty in one form or another learns to use the term 'ma'am' as in 'charm' or sometimes as in 'jam'.
Although we do hear about how distressing it is to be called "ma'am" by a bartender at a "Nineties" party held by ironic hipsters.
• The queen is referred to as "your majesty" on the first greeting; in subsequent references, she is to be called "ma'am."
â¢ The queen is referred to as "your majesty" on the first greeting; in subsequent references, she is to be called "ma'am."
The next minute, I find myself in the studio with all these amazing people, and--"wham bam thank you ma'am"--now we've got an album coming out in September.
Because of actor Jack Webb's immortal line -- "just the facts, ma'am"- I call this the Dragnet method.
I frowned; part of me resisted being called "ma'am," and all of me hated "miss."
At Monday's hearing, Hamilton said little except "Yes, ma'am" as he answered questions from Circuit Court Judge Mary Grace O'Brien about whether he understood the implications of his guilty plea.
Well, ma'am, if 2+2 = 4, I am going to keep saying that 2+2 = 4!
Finally, Oprah turned to me and said, "Yes ma'am, you have a comment."