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Mistress is an old form of address for a woman. It implies "lady of the house", especially a woman who is head of a household with domestic workers.

An example is Mistress Quickly in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. The title did not necessarily distinguish between married and unmarried women.

The titles Mrs., Miss and Ms. are abbreviations derived from Mistress.

Mastress is an obsolete form.[1][2][3]

See also


  1. ^ A Dictionary of the English Language; in which the Words are Deduced from Their Originals; and Illustrated in Their Different Significations ... Together with a History of the Language, and an English Grammar. By Samuel Johnson ... With Numerous Corrections, and with the Addition of Several Thousand Words ... by the Rev. H.J. Todd ... In Four Volumes. Vol. 1. [-4.]. 1 January 1818. Retrieved 15 March 2017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Mastress - Definition of Mastress by Webster's Online Dictionary". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Mastress dictionary definition - mastress defined". Retrieved 15 March 2017.