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1. A young woman.
2. A demoiselle crane.
3. See damselfly.

[French, damsel, from Old French dameisele; see damsel.]


1. (Animals) Also called: demoiselle crane or Numidian crane a small crane, Anthropoides virgo, of central Asia, N Africa, and SE Europe, having grey plumage with long black breast feathers and white ear tufts
2. (Animals) a less common name for a damselfly
3. (Animals) another name for damselfish
4. a literary word for damsel
[C16: from French: young woman; see damsel]


(ˌdɛm wəˈzɛl, ˌdɛm ə-)

1. an unmarried girl or young woman.
2. a small gray crane, Anthropoides virgo, of N Africa and Eurasia, with white neck plumes.
3. a damselfly, esp. of the genus Agrion.
[1760–70; < French; see damsel]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.demoiselle - a young unmarried womandemoiselle - a young unmarried woman    
maiden, maid - an unmarried girl (especially a virgin)
2.demoiselle - small brilliantly colored tropical marine fishes of coral reefsdemoiselle - small brilliantly colored tropical marine fishes of coral reefs
percoid, percoid fish, percoidean - any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of the order Perciformes
beaugregory, Pomacentrus leucostictus - a blue and yellow damselfish of Bermuda and Florida and the West Indies
anemone fish - live associated with sea anemones
Abudefduf saxatilis, sergeant major - large blue-grey black-striped damselfish; nearly worldwide
References in classic literature ?
I well recollect that my eye rested on the green door of a rather large house opposite, where, on a brass plate, was inscribed, "Pensionnat de Demoiselles.
La fenetre fermee donne sur un jardin appartenant a un pensionnat de demoiselles," said he, "et les convenances exigent --enfin, vous comprenez--n'est-ce pas, monsieur?
I thought it would have been so pleasant to have looked out upon a garden planted with flowers and trees, so amusing to have watched the demoiselles at their play; to have studied female character in a variety of phases, myself the while sheltered from view by a modest muslin curtain, whereas, owing doubtless to the absurd scruples of some old duenna of a directress, I had now only the option of looking at a bare gravelled court, with an enormous "pas de geant" in the middle, and the monotonous walls and windows of a boys' school-house round.
But don't let me talk of misery now; time enough when it comes; ces demoiselles have gone to join the serried ranks of their amiable predecessors.
Most of the young demoiselles are robed in a cloud of white from head to foot, though many trick themselves out more elaborately.
Surely, surely I bring home as much at night as any other demoiselle you employ.
hale a demoiselle against her will, and then loose dogs at his own brother
I hight the Demoiselle Alisande la Carteloise, an it please you.
To-day it is a morality made expressly for Madame the Demoiselle of Flanders.
Quel nom a cetter jeune demoiselle en les pantoulles jolis?
To mingle our careless talk with the song of the birds among the dewy leaves, to smile at each other as we gazed on the sky, to turn our steps slowly homewards at the sound of the bell that always rings too soon, to admire together some little detail in the landscape, to watch the fitful movements of an insect, to look closely at a gleaming demoiselle fly--the delicate creature that resembles an innocent and loving girl; in such ways as these are not one's thoughts drawn daily a little higher?
Each had formed a plan to marry the Demoiselle Cormon, whom Monsieur de Valois had mentioned to Suzanne.