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[em-pris] /ˈɛm prɪs/
a female ruler of an empire.
the consort of an emperor.
Origin of empress
1125-75; Middle English emperice, emperesse < Anglo-French; Old French emperesse, empereriz < Latin imperātrīcem, accusative of imperātrix, feminine of imperātor. See emperor, -trix
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for empress
  • His empress, who has the political instincts he lacks, speaks up freely before she's taken away from him.
  • All of this is a play on words to empress investors.
  • Yellow silk was worn only by the emperor, empress, or empress dowager.
  • The image seemed exactly right, a modernist throne for the empress of modern art.
  • Walking in the garden, the empress plucked a cocoon from a mulberry tree.
  • The empress sits on a throne wearing a starry crown, holding a scepter in one hand.
  • History the empress has had a rather uneventful five centuries.
British Dictionary definitions for empress


the wife or widow of an emperor
a woman who holds the rank of emperor in her own right
a woman of great power and influence
Word Origin
C12: from Old French empereriz, from Latin imperātrix feminine of imperātoremperor
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 empress

mid-12c., emperice, from Old French emperesse, fem. of emperere (see emperor). Queen Victoria in 1876 became one as "Empress of India."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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