gov·​er·​nante | \ ˈgəvə(r)nənt \
variants: or gouvernante \ ˈgüv-​ , ¦güv-​ \
plural -s

Definition of governante

1 archaic : a woman having charge of a young person : chaperone sense 2, governess sense 2 attended by … an old gentlewoman for her governante— Jedidiah Morse
2 archaic : the mistress of a household : housekeeper
3 obsolete : governess sense 1 the government devolved upon the princess, as governante during her son's minority— Tobias Smollett

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for governante

French gouvernante, from feminine of gouvernant, present participle of gouverner to govern, administer, bring up, from Old French governer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about governante

Statistics for governante

Cite this Entry

“Governante.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

Comments on governante

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!