Difference between Mrs, Ms and Miss

Key Difference: Mrs is used only for married women. Miss is traditionally used only for an unmarried woman. Ms can be used for a woman, regardless of her marital status. It is the default form of address for women.

 The term Mrs, Ms and Miss are all used as honorific titles for women in English. However, they are not all the same and are used differently in different situations. All three, Mrs, Ms and Miss are abbreviations of the honorific Mistress, which is the feminine of Mister, or Master.

Mrs. (American English) or Mrs (British English) is used only for married women. It may be used as part of her full name, as part last name or surname. However, it is usually not used as only part of the first name. It may also be used as part of her and her husband’s name together, for example: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. Nevertheless, if the woman has another title such as Dr, Professor, Lady, Dame, Baroness, etc., then those titles should be used forgoing the title of Mrs.

Miss is traditionally used only for an unmarried woman. It is the shortened for of Mistress but a period is not used to signify the contraction. The plural Misses may be used. Similar to Mrs, if the woman has another title such as Dr, Professor, Lady, Dame, Baroness, etc., then those titles should be used forgoing the use of Miss. The title of Miss is also often used for beauty pageants, such as Miss America, Miss World, Miss Universe, etc.

 Ms. (American English) or Ms (British English) is an honorific title that is used for a woman, regardless of her marital status. This means that Ms is the safest form to use to address any woman, especially it is unknown if she is married or not, and hence whether to use Miss or Mrs. Ms is the default form of address for women. Again if the woman has another title such as Dr, Professor, Lady, Dame, Baroness, etc., then those titles should be used.

Comparison between Mrs, Ms and Miss:

 

Mrs

Ms

Miss

Plural form

Mesdames

Mss. or Mses.

Misses

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

  • Used as a title when speaking to a married woman who holds an honored position or office
  • Used as part of a title for a married woman who has won a contest
  • Used to refer to a married woman who is very successful and famous for a particular activity (such as a sport) or who has a particular quality
  • Used instead of Miss or Mrs. (as when the marital status of a woman is unknown or irrelevant)
  • Used as a title prefixed to the name of an unmarried woman or girl
  • Used without a name as a conventional term of address to a young woman
  • A young unmarried woman or girl
  • Used before the name of a place or of a line of activity or before some epithet to form a title for a usually young unmarried female who is representative of the thing indicated <Miss America>

Used for

Form of address for Married Woman

Default form of address for women regardless of their marital status

Form of address for a Single woman

Used with

Either the last name (surname), or full name

Either the last name(surname), or full name

Can be used with the first (given) name, last name (surname), full name.

Examples

  • Mrs. Mary Margaret
  • Mrs. Margaret
  • Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Margaret
  • Ms. Joan Smith
  • Ms. Smith
  • Miss Elizabeth
  • Miss Elizabeth Bennet
  • Miss Bennet

Image Courtesy: driverlayer.com, quotehd.com

Most Searched in Business and Finance Most Searched in Society and Culture
Most Searched in Food and Drink Most Searched in Home and Garden
RTGS vs EFT
Symptom vs Syndrome
Windows XP vs Vista
SAP vs ERP

Add new comment

Plain text

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.