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[koun-tis] /ˈkaʊn tɪs/
the wife or widow of a count in the nobility of Continental Europe or of an earl in the British peerage.
a woman having the rank of a count or earl in her own right.
Origin of countess
1125-75; Middle English c(o)untesse < Anglo-French. See count2, -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for countess
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bab noticed that the countess was trembling when she took her hand.

  • "I just know he'll choose Bill," crowed the countess after the flicker of the doctor's skirts.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • As was afterward apparent, the countess had arranged her schedule with considerable care.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • The countess had worked hard all her life, and her hands were red and big-jointed.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • The countess had not heard the enthusiastic encomium of Maurice, nor his last, involuntary remark.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
British Dictionary definitions for countess


the wife or widow of a count or earl
a woman of the rank of count or earl
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
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Word Origin and History for countess

mid-12c., adopted in Anglo-French for "the wife of an earl," from Medieval Latin cometissa, fem. of Latin comes "count" (see count (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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