abbess

[ab-is]
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Origin of abbess

1275–1325; Middle English abbesse < Old French abbesse, abaesse < Late Latin abbātissa, feminine of abbās abbot; replacing Middle English abbatisse < Late Latin; in turn replacing Old English abadisse, abbodesse (compare Old High German abbatissa) < Late Latin *ab(b)adissa for abbātissa

Usage note

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Historical Examples of abbess


British Dictionary definitions for abbess

abbess

noun
  1. the female superior of a convent

Word Origin for abbess

C13: from Old French, from Church Latin abbātissa
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 abbess
n.

c.1300, abbese, from Old French abbesse, from Late Latin abbatissa, fem. of abbas (see abbot). Replaced earlier abbotess.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper