[ koun-tis ]
See synonyms for countess on
  1. the wife or widow of a count in the nobility of Continental Europe or of an earl in the British peerage.

  2. a woman having the rank of a count or earl in her own right.

Origin of countess

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English c(o)untesse, from Anglo-French; see origin at count2, -ess

usage note For countess

What's the difference between countess and count? See -ess.

Words Nearby countess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use countess in a sentence

  • Just look at their company: countess LuAnn, Steve Harvey, Jessica Seinfeld, Paris Hilton.

  • How little did he divine that the letter of the doctor was called forth by a communication from the countess-dowager.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • The countess drew a beautiful miniature from its case, which lay on the sofa near her, and presented it to her young charge.

  • This haughty countess, by the way, has always had a great fascination for me, because she looks like a woman who "has a history."

  • And the countess-dowager fanned herself complacently, and neither she nor Maude cared for the absence of a groomsman.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • The countess-dowager was not very adroit at spelling and composition, whether French or English, as you observe.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for countess


/ (ˈkaʊntɪs) /

  1. the wife or widow of a count or earl

  2. a woman of the rank of count or earl

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