UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈæbɛs/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈæbɪs/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(abis)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ab•bess /ˈæbɪs/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Pronouns, Religiona woman who is the head of a convent of nuns.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
ab•bess  (abis),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. 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
  1. the female superior of a convent
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French, from Church Latin abbātissa
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