- a woman holding a position corresponding to that of a prior, sometimes ranking next below an abbess.
Origin of prioress
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for prioress
In the meantime they proposed to me the engagement, and the post of prioress.The Autobiography of Madame Guyon
Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
The large refectory was exchanged for the small chamber of the prioress.The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Henry Martyn Baird
Margery replied courteously, but she had no desire to see much of the Prioress.
“I rejoice that you take my meaning,” answered the Prioress, in an even voice.
Only a few minutes had elapsed when the Prioress herself appeared.The King's Daughters
Emily Sarah Holt
- a nun holding an office in her convent corresponding to that of a prior in a male religious order
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 prioress
c.1300, from Medieval Latin priorissa, from prior "head of a priory of men" (see prior (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper