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[em-pris] /ˈɛm prɪs/
a female ruler of an empire.
the consort of an emperor.
Origin of empress
1125-75; Middle English emperice, emperesse < Anglo-French; Old French emperesse, empereriz < Latin imperātrīcem, accusative of imperātrix, feminine of imperātor. See emperor, -trix
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for empress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The empress had three sons—Alexander, Constantine and Nicholas.

    The Empire of Russia John S. C. Abbott
  • The government was France now, and the empress was the government.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • At last, she demanded a minute description of the empress's person, saying with a smile.

  • Not a line that a serf might not have written to an empress.

    The Lady of Lyons Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • It seems to me, therefore, highly probable that in fixing the site of Calvary the empress was rightly guided.

    Eothen A. W. Kinglake
British Dictionary definitions for empress


the wife or widow of an emperor
a woman who holds the rank of emperor in her own right
a woman of great power and influence
Word Origin
C12: from Old French empereriz, from Latin imperātrix feminine of imperātoremperor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for empress

mid-12c., emperice, from Old French emperesse, fem. of emperere (see emperor). Queen Victoria in 1876 became one as "Empress of India."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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