- the female superior of a convent
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ab•bess /ˈæbɪs/USA pronunciation n. [countable]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- Pronouns, Religiona woman who is the head of a convent of nuns.
ab•bess (ab′is),USA pronunciation n.
- Pronounsa woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns.
- Late Latin *ab(b)adissa for abbātissa
- Late Latin; in turn replacing Old English abadisse, abbodesse (compare Old High German abbatissa)
- Late Latin abbātissa, feminine of abbās abbot; replacing Middle English abbatisse
- Old French abbesse, abaesse
- Middle English abbesse 1275–1325
- See -ess.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
abbess /ˈæbɪs/ n
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