abbess

noun
ab·​bess | \ ˈa-bəs How to pronounce abbess (audio) \

Definition of abbess

: a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns

Examples of abbess in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If only it could be banished by an abbess, or a novel. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2021 Following Offa’s death in 796, Cynethryth joined a religious order and became abbess of the monastery. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Aug. 2021 The discovery of a document detailing the occult activities of an old abbess suddenly launches us on a grail quest. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 21 Dec. 2020 Naturopathic medicine in Germany began with Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century Benedictine abbess who purportedly used tinctures, herbs, and crystals on villagers in need of healing. Rose Truesdale, Bon Appétit, 25 Aug. 2020 Schroeder, the farm’s abiding abbess, is a native San Franciscan who witnessed the tragedy and uncertainty of the AIDS epidemic a generation ago. Kitty Morgan, SFChronicle.com, 19 Apr. 2020 Einhorn, who did extensive research on Joan’s life including visiting historical sites in France, chose texts from another medieval composer, the abbess Hildegard of Bingen, and other female mystics, as well as Joan’s own words from her trial. OregonLive.com, 21 Jan. 2018 Einhorn, who did extensive research on Joan’s life including visiting historical sites in France, chose texts from another medieval composer, the abbess Hildegard of Bingen, and other female mystics, as well as Joan’s own words from her trial. OregonLive.com, 21 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abbess.' 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 abbess

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abbess

Middle English abbesse, borrowed from Anglo-French abbesse, abeiesse, borrowed from Late Latin abbātissa, feminine derivative of abbāt-, abbās abbot

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The first known use of abbess was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near abbess

Abbe refractometer

abbess

abbetdin

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abbess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abbess. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for abbess

abbess

noun

English Language Learners Definition of abbess

: a woman who is the head of a convent

abbess

noun
ab·​bess | \ ˈa-bəs How to pronounce abbess (audio) \

Kids Definition of abbess

: the head of an abbey for women

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