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 (mĕm′sä′hĭb, -sä′ĭb, -säb)
1. Used as a form of address for a European woman in South Asia.
2. A European woman in colonial India.
3. A female mountaineer employing Sherpas or porters in the Himalayas.


(ˈmɛmˌsɑːɪb; -hɪb)
(formerly in India) a term of respect used of a European married woman
[C19: from ma'am + sahib]


(ˈmɛmˌsɑ ɪb, -ib)

(formerly, in India) a term of respect for a married European woman.
[1855–60; < Hindi =mem (< E ma ' am) + sāhib master (< Arabic ṣāḥib)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.memsahib - a woman sahibmemsahib - a woman sahib        
sahib - formerly a term of respect for important white Europeans in colonial India; used after the name


[ˈmemˌsɑːhɪb] N (India) → mujer f casada
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References in classic literature ?
In those days I rode seventy miles with an English Memsahib and her babe on my saddle-bow.
They were brought back to the UK by memsahibs, upper class women who had been living or who had travelled to India.
The white women, or memsahibs, who visited or lived in British India in the 19th and 20th centuries, wrote novels, letters, short stories, memoirs, and travelogues; these women were also the subject of writings in colonial and postcolonial times.
The officers of the Indian Civil Service were meant to tour the districts under their jurisdiction, occasionally accompanied by their memsahibs and children, to familiarise themselves with the 'real India' and its people in the process of dispensing with their office duties.
Sharing one's meat with the memsahibs, I was told in no uncertain terms, is not the custom in Caledonia.
Exhibition announcement says: "On show will be a range of beautiful artefacts, photographs, paintings and engravings enhanced with extracts from fascinating eyewitness accounts from, among others, European spies, travellers, artists, memsahibs and raconteurs who visited the shrine in the 19th century.
27) Dutta and Mathur have undertaken excellent research into colonial art schools, the formation of the South Kensington Museum (present-day V&A) and the world's fairs, whilst Flood and Ray have explored imperial corruption and the ennui of colonial memsahibs who made tours in order to keep boredom and hysteria at bay.
This belief stretches across the entire social spectrum - from maids to the memsahibs (ladies of the household).
Weaving together history, romance, culture and intrigue, Gregson captures all the colour of an empire crumbling at the edges - memsahibs drinking gin in sprawling manors while the natives grow ever more discontented with their enforced servitude - and the notorious "fishing fleet" of single girls flocking to India to catch a husband among the British officers.
I am sure Chua is right to say that an 18th-century Englishman in India was more likely to take an Indian wife than was his counterpart in 1920, but that was because the first was a solitary merchant adventurer far from home comforts, while the second was a salaried employee of the Crown inhabiting a bungalow in the home-from-home "civil lines" among straitlaced and vigilant superiors and marriageable memsahibs.
When the memsahibs arrived later on in force, native cooks were taught how to deal with familiar British foods.
The high and mighty among the Sahib-log or white population were pucka sahibs and memsahibs.