[prin-sis, -ses, prin-ses]
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  1. a nonreigning female member of a royal family.
  2. History/Historical. a female sovereign or monarch; queen.
  3. the consort of a prince.
  4. (in Great Britain) a daughter or granddaughter (if the child of a son) of a king or queen.
  5. a woman considered to have the qualities or characteristics of a princess.
  1. Also prin·cesse. (of a woman's dress, coat, or the like) styled with a close-fitting bodice and flared skirt, cut in single pieces, as gores, from shoulder to hem.

Origin of princess

1350–1400; Middle English princesse < Middle French. See prince, -ess
Related formsprin·cess·like, adjectiveprin·cess·ly, adjective

Usage note

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

Examples from the Web for princesses

Contemporary Examples of princesses

Historical Examples of princesses

British Dictionary definitions for princesses


  1. (in Britain) a daughter of the sovereign or of one of the sovereign's sons
  2. a nonreigning female member of a sovereign family
  3. the wife and consort of a prince
  4. any very attractive or outstanding woman
  5. Also called: princess dress, princess line a style of dress with a fitted bodice and an A-line skirt that is shaped by seams from shoulder to hem without a seam at the waistline
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 princesses



late 14c., "woman of royal or noble birth; daughter or wife of a ruler or prince; female ruler," a native formation, or else from Old French princesse, fem. of prince (see prince). Cf. Medieval Latin principissa, Italian principessa. As a colloquial form of address to a woman or girl, it is recorded from 1924 (as a term of address to a lover, early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper