gov·​ern·​ess | \ ˈgə-vər-nəs How to pronounce governess (audio) \

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 Andrews won millions of hearts with her portrayal of Maria von Trapp, a feisty novice nun who becomes governess to seven von Trapp children in the 1965 musical drama based on a true story. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, 10 June 2022 According to testimony later provided by Elizabeth’s governess, Kat Ashley, Thomas first showed up while Elizabeth, clad only in a loose nightgown, was still in bed. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2022 Krystal Millie Valdes is the picture of virtue as the English governess Mary Debenham. Michelle F. Solomon, Sun Sentinel, 25 May 2022 The sultan is always running out of money, thanks to his impractical schemes, and Rachel’s governess, Daya, wants her young charge to convert to Christianity. Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2022 Charlotte begins a new role as the cryptic Alexander Colbourne’s governess; Alison pines for her knight in shining armor. Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2022 In a sort of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre turn, Charlotte finds work as a governess for a brooding, reclusive and mysterious Mr. Colbourne. Sheena Scott, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Tagged as a tropical gothic tale, set in colonial Latin America in the early 1800s, the drama centres on a governess who travels to Latin America to educate the two daughters of a widower. Annika Pham, Variety, 2 Feb. 2022 In Austria, 1938, an exuberant young governess brings music and joy back to a broken family, only to face danger and intrigue as the Nazis gain power. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of governess

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Governess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for governess


gov·​ern·​ess | \ ˈgə-vər-nəs How to pronounce governess (audio) \

Kids Definition of governess

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


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