[doi-en; French dwa-yen]
- a woman who is the senior member, as in age or rank, of a group, class, profession, etc.
Origin of doyenne
1900–05; < French, feminine of doyen doyen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for doyenne
As eight of her novels are republished, we salute a doyenne of literary fiction whose work juxtaposes tragedy and comedy.The Rediscovered Genius of Muriel Spark
July 29, 2014
As Democratic doyenne Pamela Harriman once put it, "he's not entirely housebroken."A Dominant Diplomatic Force
December 14, 2010
This presents both a new work and pieces chosen from her 40-year career as the doyenne of performance art.Marina Abramovic's Full-Frontal Art
March 18, 2010
Not in 2005, when his mother, once the doyenne of Park Avenue, could by nearly all accounts no longer even remember his name.I Was an Astor Trial Juror
October 9, 2009
This week, Liz Smith, the doyenne of gossip columnists, was fired after more than 30 years of writing for New York newspapers.Long Live the Queen!
February 25, 2009
This one was a Doyenne du Comice, the most delicious kind of all.More Trivia
Logan Pearsall Smith
I had no idea what les manches de cour were, and, naturally, I went to the doyenne to find out.
There was no alternative, and the absence of the doyenne must explain itself as best it could.
She did not seem in the least surprised at seeing me alone; possibly the doyenne had written her own account of the headache.
When I reached home I changed my dress and drove to the house of the "suffering" doyenne.
Word Origin and History for doyenne
1905, from fem. of French doyen (see doyen). As a type of pear, from 1731.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper