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or bel·dame  (bĕl′dəm, -dăm)
An old woman, especially one who is considered ugly.

[Middle English, grandmother : bel, indicating respect (from Old French bel, fine, from Latin bellus; see deu- in Indo-European roots) + dame, lady; see dame.]


(ˈbɛldəm) or


1. archaic an old woman, esp an ugly or malicious one; hag
2. an obsolete word for grandmother
[C15: from bel- grand (as in grandmother), from Old French bel beautiful, from Latin bellus + dam mother, variant of dame]


(ˈbɛl dəm, -dæm)

also bel•dame

(-dəm, -ˌdeɪm)

an old woman, esp. an ugly one; hag.
[1400–50; late Middle English: grandmother <bel- grand- (< Middle French bel fine; see belle) + dam mother (see dam 2]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.beldam - an ugly evil-looking old womanbeldam - an ugly evil-looking old woman  
old woman - a woman who is old
2.beldam - a woman of advanced agebeldam - a woman of advanced age    
old woman - a woman who is old


or beldame
An ugly, frightening old woman:
Slang: biddy.
Archaic: trot.
References in classic literature ?
The wrinkled beldams involved themselves in their rusty cloaks as he passed by; even the mild-featured maidens seemed to dread contamination; and many a stern old man arose, and turned his repulsive and unheavenly countenance upon the gentle boy, as if the sanctuary were polluted by his presence.
But the strong-willed old beldam scowled, and beckoned, and flung the energy of her purpose so forcibly at this poor combination of rotten wood, and musty straw, and ragged garments, that it was compelled to show itself a man, in spite of the reality of things.
1609-11: (12) "Enter the foure old beldams, drawing out Dana[e]'s bed: she in it" (sig.