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Dame is an honorific title and the feminine form of address for the honour of knighthood in the British honours system and the systems of several other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, with the masculine form of address being Sir. The word damehood is rarely used, but the official website of the British monarchy uses it as the correct term.
A woman appointed to the grades of Dame Commander or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, the Royal Victorian Order, or the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire becomes a dame. Since there is no female equivalent to a Knight Bachelor, women are always appointed to an order of chivalry. Women who are appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter or the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle are given the title of Lady rather than Dame.