gov·​ern·​ess | \ˈgə-vər-nəs \

Definition of governess 

1 : a woman who governs

2 : a woman who cares for and supervises a child especially in a private household

Examples of governess in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Her family employed two maids and a French governess for Evelyn and her brother, Rudolph. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Evelyn Y. Davis Would Have Wanted a Bigger Headline on This Obituary," 9 Nov. 2018 The other non-lizard residents include Maisie’s governess, Iris (Geraldine Chaplin), and Mr. Lockwood’s assistant, Eli (Rafe Spall), who totally seems like a nice guy. Derek Connolly, New York Times, "Review: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Brings the Gang Back. Sigh.," 20 June 2018 The last governess has departed under mysterious circumstances. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 14 June 2018 In her 20s, Farmer was finally allowed to work, becoming a kind of governess in the home of a wealthy family friend. Julia Moskin, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Fannie Farmer, Modern Cookery’s Pioneer," 13 June 2018 The Chalk Garden Revival of Enid Bagnold’s comedy about a British dowager who hires a mysterious woman as a gardener and governess. Matt Cooper,, "The week ahead in SoCal theater: 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' and more," 22 June 2018 Victor sent them to live with German relatives in the summer and eventually hired a German governess. Daniel De Vise, Chicago Reader, "How two Belgian boys became the youngest kids to bike across the U.S.—in 1935," 21 June 2018 Later, along with her little brother and governess, Esme walks into the tea room where the soldier has taken refuge from the rain. Lauren Markham, Longreads, "For Me, With Love and Squalor," 7 June 2018 Photo: Wikipedia Commons Photo: Wikipedia Commons Reiche was emigrated to Peru in 1932 to be a governess for children of the German consulate there. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the scientist who studied the mysterious desert lines of Peru," 15 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of governess

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for governess

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for governess

The first known use of governess was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of governess

: a woman who is paid to care for and teach a child in the child's house


gov·​ern·​ess | \ˈgə-vər-nəs \

Kids Definition of governess

: a woman who teaches and trains a child especially in a private home

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More from Merriam-Webster on governess

Spanish Central: Translation of governess

Nglish: Translation of governess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of governess for Arabic Speakers

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