- a woman who is employed to take charge of a child's upbringing, education, etc.
- Archaic. a woman who is a ruler or governor.
Origin of governess
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for governess
Governess: A young woman who was typically employed by wealthy families to care for and privately educate their children.
Victoria Winters: An orphan who is engaged by the Collins family as a governess for young David Collins.
The girl would become Victoria Winters, an orphan hired by the Collins Family as a governess for the troubled young heir.
Later she got a job as governess to the illegitimate children that Louis XIV had fathered with another mistress.The Best of Brit Lit
March 5, 2010
Think of a mere governess, her daughter's governess, coming to that high distinction!Little Dorrit
In the first place, I could not talk about it with my governess, as she would not discuss the piece at all.
Every morning I went to the Conservatoire with my governess.
I did not insist, but I sent for my son's governess, Mlle. Soubise.
Your governess cannot win the confidence and respect of your children, forsooth!Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
- a woman teacher employed in a private household to teach and train the children
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
Word Origin and History for governess
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper