- a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns.
Origin of abbess
Related Words for abbesssister, bishop, vestal, anchorite, prioress, postulant, abbess, dignitary, cardinal, abbot, ecclesiastic, hierarch, archbishop, canoness, superior, ecclesiarch
Examples from the Web for abbess
Historical Examples of abbess
The Abbess suddenly emerged from the gloom, and was standing in their midst.
But when Marcolina wished to kiss her hand, the Abbess gathered the girl in her arms.
I had to tell the abbess the lady's name, but not yours as she did not require it.
The abbess will bring her answers to me, and I will pass them on to you.
I hope you have the wit to laugh at the abbess's silly excommunications?
- the female superior of a convent
Word Origin for abbess
Word Origin and History for abbess
c.1300, abbese, from Old French abbesse, from Late Latin abbatissa, fem. of abbas (see abbot). Replaced earlier abbotess.