Definition of MISTRESS

a woman who has power, authority, or ownership: such as; the female head of a household; a woman who employs or supervises servants… See the full definition

mistress


noun


Save Word


mis·​tress


|



ˈmi-strəs


Definition of

mistress


1



:

a woman who has power, authority, or ownership: such as


a



:

the female head of a household

the

mistress

of the house


b



:

a woman who employs or supervises servants

The servants were required to do their

mistress’s

bidding without question.


c



:

a woman who possesses, owns, or controls something

the

mistress

of a large fortune


Whether mongrels or thoroughbreds … dogs have shared their masters’ and

mistresses

‘ experiences in almost all walks of life.


— Robert Rosenblum


d



:

a woman who is in charge of a school or other establishment

:



headmistress



Mrs. Goddard was the

mistress

of a school


— Jane Austen


e



:

a woman of the Scottish nobility having a status comparable to that of a master (see


master


sense 3b


)


2


a


chiefly British



:

a female teacher or tutor


b



:

a woman who has achieved mastery in some field

She was a

mistress

of music.


You learn how to chop throats and gouge eyes and stomp insteps … and after eight weeks you’re given your diploma, which officially declares you a

mistress

of unarmed combat.


— Arthur R. Miller


c



:

a woman considered especially notable for something

After penning several apocalyptic books, she became known as the

mistress

of doom.


3



:

something personified as female that rules, directs, or dominates

… France was master of the Continent, England

mistress

of the seas.


— James MacGregor Burns


Yet he was sharp and self-interested enough (serving, that is, his demanding

mistress

, Painting) to write more than 400 letters …


— Ronald Pickvance


4


a



:

a woman other than his wife with whom a married man has a continuing sexual relationship


b


archaic


:



sweetheart


5


a





used archaically as a title prefixed to the name of a married or unmarried woman


b


chiefly Southern US and Midland US





used as a conventional title of courtesy except when usage requires the substitution of a title of rank or an honorific or professional title before a married woman’s surname

:



mrs.


sense 1a



6



:

an often professional dominatrix

With each addition of pain or restraint, he stiffens slightly, then falls into a deeper calm, a deeper peace, waiting to obey his

mistress

.


— Marianne Apostolides

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Synonyms for

mistress

Synonyms


concubine

,


doxy


(


also


doxie

)

,


other woman


Visit the Thesaurus for More

Examples of

mistress

in a Sentence


Servants were required to do the

mistress’s

bidding without question.


The dog was always obedient to its master and

mistress

.


the master and

mistress

of the house


a married man who has a

mistress



His wife suspected that the woman she’d seen with him was his

mistress

.


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Recent Examples on the Web


Even more movingly, Deborah Findlay, as Juliet’s fond nurse, is able to temper the role’s comic elements with an immutable loyalty to her

mistress

, and then temper that with something darker and arguably in fact disloyal.





New York Times

, “Review: ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ Cut in Half and Twice as Good,” 22 Apr. 2021


New York gangster Bugsy Siegel goes Hollywood with a tan, a

mistress

and a mad vision of Las Vegas.





Los Angeles Times

, “Movies on TV this week: ‘Lust for Life’; ‘Platoon’ and more,” 5 Mar. 2021


An underrated thriller of its era, the 1990 flick casts Harrison Ford against type as a prosecutor who has been charged with the murder of his

mistress

, played by Greta Scacchi.




Brian Tallerico,

Vulture

, “The 100 Best Movies on HBO Max,” 1 Feb. 2021


His body was left on display in Milan, dangling upside down alongside the body of his

mistress

.





Washington Post

, “World War II’s less-famous fascist,” 31 Dec. 2020


His

mistress

Cristiana Sinagra was back in Italy, heavily pregnant with Diego Armando Maradona Sinagra.




Matias Grez And Ben Morse,

CNN

, “Diego Armando Maradona: The tormented genius who became one of football’s greatest players,” 25 Nov. 2020


Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse), 30 October 1932 is a stylized portrait of Picasso’s

mistress

and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter painted in 1932, widely regarded by art experts as one of the seminal years of the Spanish artist’s career.




Carlie Porterfield,

Forbes

, “A $55 Million Picasso Painting Could Signal The Art Market Is Bouncing Back,” 6 Apr. 2021


In a clear first-person narrative, Juan tells us of his early life, the loss of his first master and

mistress

to plague, and his subsequent transfer to the service of Don Diego Velázquez.




Sarah Schutte,

National Review

, “The Lyricism and Wit of Elizabeth Borton de Treviño Crossed Cultural Barriers,” 28 Mar. 2021


In 1847, Keckley and George were transported to St. Louis, Missouri, by her white half sister and new

mistress

, Anne Garland.




Judith Thurman,

The New Yorker

, “Ann Lowe’s Barrier-Breaking Mid-Century Couture,” 22 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘mistress.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.

Send us feedback

.


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First Known Use of

mistress

14th century, in the meaning defined at

sense 1

History and Etymology for

mistress

Middle English

maistresse

, from Anglo-French

mestresse

, feminine of

mestre

master — more at

master

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Learn More about

mistress

From the Editors at Merriam-Webster

Dictionary Entries near

mistress


mistranslate


mistranslation


mistreat


mistress


mistressly


mistress of ceremonies


Mistress of the Robes


See More Nearby Entries

Statistics for

mistress

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021


Look-up Popularity

Cite this Entry

“Mistress.”

Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary

, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mistress. Accessed 30 Apr. 2021.

Style:

MLA


MLA



Chicago



APA



Merriam-Webster

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More Definitions for

mistress

mistress



noun

English Language Learners Definition of

mistress



:

a woman who has a servant or slave



:

a woman who owns a pet (such as a dog)


formal



:

the female head of a household


See the full definition for

mistress

in the English Language Learners Dictionary

mistress


noun


mis·​tress


|



ˈmi-strəs


Kids Definition of

mistress


1



:

a female teacher


2



:

a woman who has control or authority over another person, an animal, or a thing

… the old woman had no loyalty toward her

mistress



— Esther Forbes,

Johnny Tremain

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More from Merriam-Webster on

mistress

Thesaurus:

All synonyms and antonyms for

mistress

Nglish:

Translation of

mistress

for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English:

Translation of

mistress

for Arabic Speakers

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mistress

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