monsieur

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See also: Monsieur

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French monsieur.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /məˈsjʊə(ɹ)/, /məˈsjɜː(ɹ)/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

monsieur (plural monsieurs or messieurs)

  1. (dated) A man, especially a French gentleman.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      Pass round the decanters; glad to see ye; fill up, monsieurs!

Related terms[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From mon (my) + sieur, from the oblique case of Old French sire (cf. also seignor), ultimately from Latin senior.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /mə.sjø/, (archaic, sometimes used jocularly) /mɔ.sjø/, (obsolete) /mɔ̃.sjø/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

monsieur m (plural messieurs)

  1. mister, sir (a title or form of address for a man, used with or without the name in direct or third-person address)
  2. gentleman
    Il y a un monsieur pour vous voir.
    There's a gentleman here to see you.

Usage notes[edit]

  • A custom held that it was impolite to use Monsieur with a family name (e.g. Monsieur Dupont) in direct address from a hierarchical inferior to a superior, unless it was needed to disambiguate. Instead, one should simply address the person as Monsieur. This custom may now be obsolete.
  • Unlike in English, Monsieur is frequently used without a name or article as a polite reference to a man in the third person, notably in official registers:
    Monsieur s’est présenté à l’urgence à 18 h 12.
    The/This gentleman/The patient/Mr. [name] attended the emergency room at 6:12 p.m.
  • Additionally, Monsieur (and Madame) are sometimes used in conjunction with titles/roles in formal registers.
    Monsieur le Directeur fera une annoncement à 13h30.
    The director will be making a presentation at 3:30pm.
    Madame le Président a prononcé un discours en lequel elle a dit que la guerre n’est pas juste.
    The president has made a speech in which she said that the war is unjust.
  • Although un/le monsieur is used as a common noun to mean "a/the gentleman," using the word une/la madame to mean "a/the lady" is considered childish language. Instead, une/la dame is used.

Synonyms[edit]

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Descendants[edit]

(Some of these may be derived from Middle French.)

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Anagrams[edit]