Abbess definition

ăbĭs
A woman who is head of an abbey of nuns.
noun
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The superior of a convent.
noun
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Used as a title for such a person.
noun
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A female superior or governess of a nunnery, or convent of nuns, having the same authority over the nuns which the abbots have over the monks. [First attested around 1150 to 1350]

The abbess was always after the nuns to keep the convent immaculately clean.

noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
abbess
Plural:
abbesses, abesses

Origin of abbess

  • Middle English abesse from Old French from Late Latin abbātissa from abbās abbāt- abbot abbot

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English abbesse, from Old French abaesse, abeesse (French abbesse), from Late Latin abbatissa, feminine of abbas, abbatis (“abbot”).

    From Wiktionary