- (dated) A man, especially a French gentleman.
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
- Pass round the decanters; glad to see ye; fill up, monsieurs!
monsieur m (plural messieurs)
- mister, sir (a title or form of address for a man, used with or without the name in direct or third-person address)
- Il y a un monsieur pour vous voir.
- There's a gentleman here to see you.
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 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 attended the emergency room at 6:12 p.m.
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.
(Some of these may be derived from Middle French.)
- Saint Dominican Creole French: mouché
- → English: monsieur
- → Fula: musel
- → Hausa: mùshê
- → Ladino: musyu
- → Ottoman Turkish: موسیو (mösyö)
- Turkish: mösyö
- → Romanian: musiu
- → Russian: месье́ (mesʹjé), мсьё (msʹjo)
- “monsieur”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.