- the wife or widow of a duke.
- a woman who holds in her own right the sovereignty or titles of a duchy.
Origin of duchess
- a daybed having a rounded, partially enclosed head and usually a similar foot, sometimes made in two or three pieces able to be used separately (duchesse brisée).
Origin of duchesse
Examples from the Web for duchesses
Everybody talked to Dominick on that Vanity Fair story—children, servants, mistresses, duchesses, and Von Bülow himself.The Unforgettable Dominick Dunne
August 27, 2009
You all try and palm yourselves off for dukes and duchesses, travelling in disguise.Diary of a Pilgrimage
Jerome K. Jerome
It's zoziety—the dukes and the duchesses—that ruins all the yong talents.'Robert Elsmere
Mrs. Humphry Ward
And Barty would re‑sing it, as desired, and bring in the duchesses.The Martian
George Du Maurier
Gloria went to see the princesses and duchesses, and found them at home.Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)
F. Marion Crawford
What matters it to you, if kings and Duchesses of Burgundy marry?Notre-Dame de Paris
- the wife or widow of a duke
- a woman who holds the rank of duke in her own right
- Australian informal to overwhelm with flattering attention
- Australian and NZ a dressing table or chest of drawers with a mirror
Word Origin and History for duchesses
c.1300, from Old French duchesse, from Late Latin or Medieval Latin ducissa, fem. of dux (see duke (n.)). Often spelled dutchess until early 19c. (e.g. Dutchess County, New York, U.S.).