abbess

EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

abbess (plural abbesses)

  1. 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][2]
    The abbess was always after the nuns to keep the convent immaculately clean.

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 2
  2. ^ Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 3
Last modified on 31 March 2014, at 05:12