beldame

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From late Middle English (1400-1450) bel (fine) + dam (mother), from Old French bele (beautiful) + dame (woman).

Noun[edit]

beldame (plural beldames)

  1. (obsolete) A grandmother.
  2. (now archaic) An old woman, particularly an ugly one.
    • 1847, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre:
      ... have a curiosity to hear my fortune told: therefore, Sam, order the beldame forward.
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 6:
      Suddenly the beldam shrieks as if she's been stuck with a dagger, long rasping insuck of breath: ‘Eeeeeeeee!’

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • beldame” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.