doy·​enne | \dȯi-ˈ(y)en, dwä-ˈyen \

Definition of doyenne 

: a woman who is a doyen

Examples of doyenne in a Sentence

the doyenne of the fashion industry

Recent Examples on the Web

And just last year, the lifestyle doyenne hired the Home Edit to organize her pantry and children’s playroom, among other rooms. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Has Gwyneth Paltrow’s Secret Hamptons Wedding Been Torpedoed?," 20 June 2018 Was the magic the sparkling dining room, being in the presence of the doyenne of reviewers, or the food? Sheryl Julian,, "Five restaurants that are gone from Boston but definitely not forgotten," 9 May 2018 The Washington doyenne Sally Quinn was recalling with horror one of the nights following the 2016 election. Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, "In the Age of Trump, We’re All Eating Our Feelings," 23 Apr. 2018 Claudia Roden, the doyenne of Jewish cooking, says fish was customary at Jewish tables from the earliest of times. Kimberly Winston And Yonat Shimron, Houston Chronicle, "Why do Jews eat gefilte fish at the Passover Seder?," 1 Apr. 2018 Octogenarian Madhur Jaffrey, the doyenne of Indian cuisine, proved just as daunting for me. Alex Van Buren,, "This Easy Indian Dinner Recipe Only Calls for Staples—and It’s Ready in 20 Minutes," 29 Mar. 2018 Of special note, the May Madness sale, with donations from the area's doyennes, is an all-day event. David Keeps, ELLE Decor, "ELLE DECOR Goes to Coastal California," 11 May 2011 Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren is the latest Hollywood doyenne to weigh in on the MeToo/TimesUp movement in a new interview with Willie Geist on Sunday Today. Katie Van Syckle, The Cut, "Helen Mirren Says Men Exposed Themselves To Her ‘Once A Week’ in Her 20s," 18 Jan. 2018 Brennan, the city’s 59-year-old doyenne of must-have oxfords —I think Brennan single-handedly brought them back in style thanks to her three-year-old Bus Stop X collection — is all about the monochromatic flow. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Why this 'Across Broad' retail collaboration represents the future of retail | Elizabeth Wellington," 9 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of doyenne

circa 1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for doyenne

French, feminine of doyen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doyenne

Dictionary Entries near doyenne








Statistics for doyenne

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for doyenne

The first known use of doyenne was circa 1897

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for doyenne



English Language Learners Definition of doyenne

: a woman who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular profession, subject, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on doyenne

See words that rhyme with doyenne

Comments on doyenne

What made you want to look up doyenne? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!