difference between mrs ms and miss

The Difference between Mrs, Ms, and Miss in Title


Many people find themselves using the titles Mrs, Ms, or Miss when addressing a woman in formal settings. However, not differentiating between these titles can lead to awkward and embarrassing moments. Therefore, it is essential to know the difference between the three titles in order to avoid any confusion.

Meaning of Mrs

Mrs is the abbreviation of the word “mister” and was originally used to denote a married woman. This title is used for women who are legally married and prefer to use their husband’s surname. For instance, if the husband’s name is John Smith, then the wife would be referred to as Mrs. John Smith.

Meaning of Miss

Miss, on the other hand, is used to address an unmarried woman. It is often used for females who have never been married or who are no longer married and choose to use their maiden name. For instance, if a woman’s name is Sarah Jones and she has never been married, she would be referred to as Miss Sarah Jones.

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Meaning of Ms

Ms is a title that is used for women whose marital status is unknown or irrelevant. It is also used for women who prefer not to disclose their marital status. This title can be used regardless of whether a woman is married, divorced or single. For instance, if a woman’s name is Julie Brown, and you are unsure of her marital status, she can be addressed as Ms. Julie Brown.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between Mrs, Ms, and Miss is crucial in formal settings. Failing to use the proper title can result in embarrassment and awkward situations. It is important to ask someone what title they prefer to be called to avoid using the wrong one. When in doubt, the safest title to use is usually Ms.

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Table difference between mrs ms and miss

Title Definition Usage
Mrs Married woman Used for addressing women who are married
Ms Woman who wants to be addressed without revealing her marital status Used for addressing women whose marital status is unknown or who want to keep it private
Miss Unmarried woman Used for addressing young unmarried women or women who prefer it