[ duhch-is ]
/ ˈdʌtʃ ɪs /


the wife or widow of a duke.
a woman who holds in her own right the sovereignty or titles of a duchy.

Origin of duchess

1300–50; Middle English duchesse < Anglo-French, Old French, feminine derivative of duc duke; see -ess

Related forms

duch·ess·like, adjective

Usage note

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duchess

British Dictionary definitions for duchess


/ (ˈdʌtʃɪs) /


the wife or widow of a duke
a woman who holds the rank of duke in her own right

verb (tr)

Australian informal to overwhelm with flattering attention

Word Origin for duchess

C14: from Old French duchesse, feminine of duc duke
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