Dame is an honorific title and the feminine form of address for the honour of damehood in many Christian chivalric orders, as well as the British honours system and those of several other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, with the masculine form of address being sir. It is the female equivalent for knighthood, which is traditionally granted to males. Dame is also style used by baronetesses in their own right.
A woman appointed to the grades of the Dame Commander or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saint John, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, 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. A Central European order in which female members receive the rank of Dame is the Imperial and Royal Order of Saint George. 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.