count·​ess | \ ˈkau̇n-təs How to pronounce countess (audio) \

Definition of countess

1 : the wife or widow of an earl or count
2 : a woman who holds in her own right the rank of earl or count

Examples of countess in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The château—once the summerhouse of the countess du Barry, the last mistress of King Louis XV—is a stone’s throw from the former horse stables and staff quarters that now house Le Doyenné. WSJ, 18 June 2022 In 2001, its owner, an Italian countess, fell to her death from the steep hill leading to the sea, her body washing up in France. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Boras sees each of Christie's characters in this story, from a glamorous princess and a beautiful countess to a brusque businessman and a mousy missionary, as a diamond. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 May 2022 Thousands were evicted by the countess over the course of the Clearances. Cathleen O'grady, The Atlantic, 20 May 2022 Smith has portrayed the dowager countess, Violet Crawley, a character who has become best known for her devastating zingers and obsession with maintaining tradition at Downton. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 20 May 2022 Rhodes was born Hadassah Itzkowitz in a shtetl 50 miles outside Kyiv, not a place of opportunity but for a Russian countess who provided educational opportunities for some of the children. Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 24 Mar. 2022 The countess was an amateur naturalist and took a particular interest in Rhodes. Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 24 Mar. 2022 Even Maggie Smith's dowager countess would have good things to say about them. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 22 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'countess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of countess

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of countess was in the 12th century

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Countess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for countess


count·​ess | \ ˈkau̇n-təs How to pronounce countess (audio) \

Kids Definition of countess

1 : the wife or widow of a count or an earl
2 : a woman who holds the rank of a count or an earl in her own right


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