presbyteress

noun

pres·​by·​ter·​ess
ˈprezbətərə̇s
plural -es
1
a
: the wife of a presbyter or priest in one of the early medieval churches
especially : one coming under the operation of the rule requiring the continence of clergymen
b
obsolete : a priest's concubine
2
: a woman serving as a presbyter or elder in one of the early medieval churches : one of a body of aged widows dedicated to the service of the church and constituting an ecclesiastical order
3
: the wife of a priest of the Eastern Orthodox Church

Word History

Etymology

partial translation of Medieval Latin presbyterissa, from presbyter priest (from Late Latin, presbyter, elder) + Late Latin -issa -ess

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Cite this Entry

“Presbyteress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presbyteress. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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