- An example of a mistress is a woman in charge of a school.
- An example of a mistress is a woman living in an apartment paid for by a man to whom she's not married.
- a woman who rules others or has control, authority, or power over something; specif.,
- a woman who is head of a household or institution
- Chiefly Brit. a female schoolteacher
- a woman very skilled and able in some work, profession, science, art, etc.
- something personified as a woman that has control, power, etc.: England was mistress of the seas
- a woman who is in a sexual relationship with, and typically is financially supported by, a man without being married to him
- a woman who is in an adulterous relationship with a man married to another woman
- Archaic a sweetheart
- Obs. a title used in speaking to or of a woman and placed before the name: now replaced by Mrs., Miss, or Ms.
Origin of mistressMiddle English maistresse ; from OFr, feminine of maistre, master
- A woman who has a continuing sexual relationship with a man who is married to someone else.
- A woman in a position of authority, control, or ownership, as the head of a household: “Thirteen years had seen her mistress of Kellynch Hall” (Jane Austen).
- a. A woman who owns or keeps an animal: a cat sitting in its mistress's lap.b. A woman who owns a slave.
- A woman with ultimate control over something: the mistress of her own mind.
- a. A nation or country that has supremacy over others: Great Britain, once the mistress of the seas.b. Something personified as female that directs or reigns: “my mistress &ellipsis; the open road” (Robert Louis Stevenson).
- A woman who has mastered a skill or branch of learning: a mistress of the culinary art.
- Mistress Used formerly as a courtesy title when speaking to or of a woman.
- Chiefly British A woman schoolteacher.
Origin of mistressMiddle English maistresse, from Old French, feminine of maistre, master, from Latin magister; see Master .
- A woman, specifically one with great control, authority or ownership.
- She was the mistress of the estate-mansion, and owned the horses.
- A female teacher.
- games mistress
- A female partner in an extramarital relationship, generally including sexual relations.
- A dominatrix.
- A woman well skilled in anything, or having the mastery over it.
- A woman regarded with love and devotion; a sweetheart.
- (Scotland) A married woman; a wife.
In the sexual sense, mistress is narrowly taken to mean a woman involved in a committed extramarital relationship (an affair), often supported financially (a kept woman). It is broadly taken to mean a woman involved in an extramarital relationship regardless of the level of commitment, but requires more than a single act of adultery.
From Middle English and Old French maistresse (French: maÃ®tresse), feminine of maistre (“master").
- (archaic) Used as the title of a married woman before her name. Now used only in the abbreviated form Mrs.