abbess

[ab-is]
noun
a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English abbesse < Old French abbesse, abaesse < Late Latin abbātissa, feminine of abbās abbot; replacing Middle English abbatisse < Late Latin; in turn replacing Old English abadisse, abbodesse (compare Old High German abbatissa) < Late Latin *ab(b)adissa for abbātissa


See -ess.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
abbess (ˈæbɪs)
 
n
the female superior of a convent
 
[C13: from Old French, from Church Latin abbātissa]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

abbess
c.1300, abbese, from O.Fr. abbesse, from L.L. abbatissa, fem. of abbas (see abbot).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

abbess

the title of a superior of certain communities of nuns following the Benedictine Rule, of convents of the Second Order of St. Francis (Poor Clares), and of certain communities of canonesses. The first historical record of the name is on a Roman inscription dated c. 514.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for abbess
He told his foreman about his dream and gift and was taken immediately to see the abbess.
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