a woman who officiates in sacred rites.

Origin of priestess

First recorded in 1685–95; priest + -ess

Usage note

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

Examples from the Web for priestess

Historical Examples of priestess

  • Priestess of the Corn,' she called toward the temple, 'do you also mislead the people?'

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Then it was laid up in the god-houses for the priestess of the Corn to keep.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • There was the dawn, and there was she, its priestess, while all around her slept.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • I do not think the priestess Lhyreesa will make you unhappy, Tyn-Dall.

  • Then as he passed from the portal, the priestess lifted her hands.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

Word Origin and History for priestess

1690s, from priest + -ess. Earlier was priestress (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper