Definition of ma’am noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    noun [singular]
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  1. 1
    BrE BrE//mæm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//mæm//
    (North American English) used as a polite way of addressing a woman ‘Can I help you, ma'am?’ compare sir
  2. 2
    BrE BrE//mɑːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//mɑːm//
    (British English) used when addressing the Queen or senior women officers in the police or army = madam
  3. Word Originmid 17th cent.: contraction of madam.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ma’am