Definitions of abbess

  1. the superior of a group of nuns Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  2. A female superior or governess of a nunnery, or convent of nuns, having the same authority over the nuns which the abbots have over the monks. See Abbey. Webster Dictionary DB
  3. The superior of a religious community of women. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  4. Female head of a convent of nuns. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  5. The lady superior of a nunnery. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  6. A lady placed over a nunnery. Among persons living secluded from the world in religious houses, the males are called monks, and the females nuns. The residence of a monk is called a monastery, and that of a man a nunnery. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

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Usage examples for abbess

  1. " Let us hope it is the last," said the abbess with changing colour. – The Hour and the Man An Historical Romance by Harriet Martineau
  2. She began her career already as a young girl at a convent- school, where her playmates asked her laughing who would be the next abbess and she mentioned an entirely unknown lady from Picardy as the one that would be appointed by the king. – Modern Magic by Maximilian Schele de Vere