priest·​ess ˈprē-stəs How to pronounce priestess (audio)
: a woman authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion
: a woman regarded as a leader (as of a movement)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as Kraven, a big-game hunter who gets involved with Calypso (Ariana DeBose), a voodoo priestess, and Chameleon (Fred Hechinger), a master of disguise. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 30 Dec. 2022 The woman, a priestess named Leïla, then appears in their village. Dallas News, 4 Apr. 2022 The Mining Tribe is represented by the priestess, who wears a Himba head piece, and the River Tribe by the man with the white lip plate and ceremonial costume, the whole nine. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Nov. 2022 Named for an ancient Greek priestess who tutored Socrates, Diotima centers female artisans. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 Oct. 2022 Before her breakthrough as a recording artist and ’70s punk priestess, Patti Smith contributed modern poetic essays on Dylan, Jagger, Morrison and other Dionysian rock gods. Steve Appleford, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 These spirits take over participants’ bodies as the priest (ougan) or priestess (mambo) leads the ceremony. Dieu-nalio Chery, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2022 The book’s voodoo priestess warns against the reverberations of intent, deed and especially timing. Alex Pulaski, Washington Post, 8 July 2022 This podcast covers all kinds of theories including one that says Taylor Swift is a clone of a former satanic church priestess, Zeena LaVey, to the theory stating that the Titanic never sank, to another saying that Prince Charles is a vampire. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of priestess was in 1654

Dictionary Entries Near priestess

Cite this Entry

“Priestess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


priest·​ess ˈprē-stəs How to pronounce priestess (audio)
: a woman who is a priest

More from Merriam-Webster on priestess

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