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See more synonyms for countess on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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Origin of countess

1125–75; Middle English c(o)untesse < Anglo-French. See count2, -ess

Usage note

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

Related Words

aristocrat, king, monarch, emperor, czar, sultan, shah, girl, queen, adult, female, count, patrician, gentleman, royalty, peer, lord, lady, prince, empress

Examples from the Web for countess

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • To forget her friends that she might go into society a countess!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Now, don't worry about it any more—I expect it was the Countess told you that.

  • The Countess had worked hard all her life, and her hands were red and big-jointed.

  • "Well, I do think it's awfully good, Dell," began the Countess.

  • "I just know he'll choose Bill," crowed the Countess after the flicker of the doctor's skirts.

British Dictionary definitions for countess


  1. the wife or widow of a count or earl
  2. a woman of the rank of count or earl
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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 countess


mid-12c., adopted in Anglo-French for "the wife of an earl," from Medieval Latin cometissa, fem. of Latin comes "count" (see count (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper