a woman in charge of a private school.

Origin of headmistress

First recorded in 1870–75; head + mistress
Related formshead·mis·tress-ship, noun

Usage note

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

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British Dictionary definitions for headmistress



a female principal of a schoolGender-neutral form: head teacher
Derived Formsheadmistressship, noun
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