For the urban and peasant classes, this was the equivalent of lady. It signified a woman who was the female head of household or even a woman who ran her own business.
Related term(s): Lady; Proprietor; Landholder
Contributor(s): Natalie Kohout
Source information: Hollister, C. Warren and Judith M. Bennett. Medieval History: A Short History. 9th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002.