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[nee-gris] /ˈni grɪs/
noun, Older Use: Usually Offensive.
a term used to refer to a black woman or girl.
Origin of Negress
From the French word négresse, dating back to 1780-90. See Negro, -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Negress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His wife was a Negress from Loanda, very large and very noisy.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • They threatened and flattered the Negress, who said nothing in reply.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • But everywhere, even in the domains of slavery, how tenderly has the Negress been spoken of!

  • "Well, well—a little that side, now—" The Negress moves the pillow a little to the left.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • "Yes," replied together the negro and Negress, who held her by each hand.

    Thais Anatole France
  • She was a Negress, poorly dressed, and her face was hidden by her shawl.

    The White Mice Richard Harding Davis
  • In the Negress's face an expression of surprise wavered for a second and then disappeared.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • The Negress was wiping a dish and giving it a fine polish in her absence of mind.

    At Fault Kate Chopin.
  • A Negress appeared in the doorway with a veil of tissue in her hand.

    Prisoners of Hope Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for Negress


a female Black person
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 Negress



1750, from French négresse, fem. of nègre "negro," which came to French via Spanish or Portuguese (see Negro).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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