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[pree-stis] /ˈpri stɪs/
a woman who officiates in sacred rites.
Origin of priestess
First recorded in 1685-95; priest + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for priestess
Historical Examples
  • The hair of Cléo de Bromsart had been waited upon like a divinity by many a priestess in the form of a maid.

    The Beach of Dreams H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • There are finer names than these: wife, mother, priestess in the temple of humanity.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • The cavity was approached with reverence; a tripod was placed over it; and a priestess or Pythia was appointed to preside.

    The Student's Mythology Catherine Ann White
  • "I shall not betray you," answered the priestess, smiling again.

    Morning Star H. Rider Haggard
  • The meeting with Chios and the Christian in the cave of the Ephesian sorceress had worked on the mind of the priestess.

    Saronia Richard Short
  • The oracle replied that the priestess must not be punished, for she had done no wrong.

    Darius the Great Jacob Abbott
  • The oracle and priestess of the bottle were both called Bacbuc (Hebrew for “bottle”).

  • It was Saronia, the priestess, arrayed in her priestly robes.

    Saronia Richard Short
  • Jupiter's priestess, said Pantagruel, in former days would not like us have walked under this arbour.

  • Endora glided out like a panther, leaving the two men alone with the priestess.

    Saronia Richard Short
Word Origin and History for priestess

1690s, from priest + -ess. Earlier was priestress (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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