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

Almost Hitchcock-like is the account of Shchukin’s second wife, their daughter Irina and the governess making their escape west on the Ukraine train. E.a. Carmean Jr., WSJ, "‘The Collector’ Review: Before the Fall," 7 Dec. 2018 In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young nun in an Austrian convent who is sent away to be governess for the children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Remixes "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" For New Song "7 Rings"," 18 Jan. 2019 Traditionally, members of the British and have been educated at home, starting at the nursery stage with a governess. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "Here's What Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Education Will Entail," 26 Aug. 2018 The Duke of York was educated by a governess before attending Heatherdown School in Ascot and eventually, like his brother and father, Gordonstoun. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth's Complicated Relationships With Her Children," 18 Aug. 2018 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

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

8 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for governess

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

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More Definitions for governess



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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