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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
  • Then it was laid up in the god-houses for the priestess of the Corn to keep.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • priestess of the Corn,' she called toward the temple, 'do you also mislead the people?'

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • There was the dawn, and there was she, its priestess, while all around her slept.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • I do not think the priestess Lhyreesa will make you unhappy, Tyn-Dall.

    Grove of the Unborn Lyn Venable
  • Then as he passed from the portal, the priestess lifted her hands.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • The priestess commenced the ceremony that was to last all night.

  • Being a priest or a priestess, for instance—now that meant something.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • There are finer names than these: wife, mother, priestess in the temple of humanity.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • "I shall not betray you," answered the priestess, smiling again.

    Morning Star H. Rider Haggard
  • She proved to be a priestess, from one of the Parian temples.

    Darius the Great Jacob Abbott
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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