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governess

[guhv-er-nis] /ˈgʌv ər nɪs/
noun
1.
a woman who is employed to take charge of a child's upbringing, education, etc.
2.
Archaic. a woman who is a ruler or governor.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English governeress < Old French gouverneresse, feminine of gouverneur governor; see -ess
Related forms
governessy, adjective
subgoverness, noun
undergoverness, noun
Usage note
See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for governess
  • Before she was married, she worked as a governess and a librarian.
  • The state is not so much a nanny as a high-minded governess.
  • She had the proper manners of an old-time governess, a schoolteacher or a small town librarian.
  • It deals also with loving but neglectful parents and a bitterly grim governess.
  • When our parents found out, they were absolutely furious with the governess.
  • Her governess, a registered nurse, decided to quit and volunteer as a military nurse.
  • The screams of the governess attracted the attention of several of the neighbors and people in the house.
British Dictionary definitions for governess

governess

/ˈɡʌvənɪs/
noun
1.
a woman teacher employed in a private household to teach and train the children
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 governess
governess
late 15c., "female ruler," shortening of governouresse "a woman who rules" (see governor + -ess); in the sense of "a female teacher in a private home" it is attested from 1712.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for governess

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for governess

13
16
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Quotes with governess