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[hed-mis-tris] /ˈhɛdˈmɪs trɪs/
a woman in charge of a private school.
Origin of headmistress
1870-75; head + mistress
Related forms
headmistress-ship, noun
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for headmistress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They admired and respected their headmistress, and her well-framed rules were rarely transgressed.

    The School by the Sea Angela Brazil
  • At eleven o'clock she received a summons to the headmistress's study.

  • "You are no longer a little girl," said the headmistress meaningly, beginning to feel secretly irritated.

    The Gentleman from San Francisco Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin
  • “Indeed I shall not wait,” returned the headmistress coldly.

    The Madcap of the School Angela Brazil
  • I shall have to report you to your headmistress, I'm afraid.

  • A summons from the headmistress rarely boded good fortune to the recipient, and the girls stared at Gwen with interested sympathy.

  • Miss Grey, the headmistress, had a certain silvery, school-mistressy beauty of character.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • The excitement was intense, though awe for the headmistress forbade anybody to speak.

British Dictionary definitions for headmistress


a female principal of a school Gender-neutral form head teacher
Derived Forms
headmistressship, noun
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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