The term mistress has various meanings in our modern world. The most common use of the term describes women who have ongoing extramarital relationships with married men. Usually these relationships are continuing, secretive, and sexual in nature. Also, many married men provide financially for their mistresses. The term mistress is usually reserved for use in extramarital relationships only. The term does not require that the involved female be married, only the male. The acceptance, motivations, and levels of stigma attached to mistresses have changed over time and vary from one culture to the next.

Historic Evolution and Significance

The term mistress dates back to the 14th century and originates from Anglo-French and Middle English roots. The term's original usage described a woman with power, ...

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