abbesses

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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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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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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