a woman holding a position corresponding to that of a prior, sometimes ranking next below an abbess.

1250–1300; Middle English prioresse < Old French. See prior2, -ess

subprioress, noun

See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prioress (ˈpraɪərɪs)
a nun holding an office in her convent corresponding to that of a prior in a male religious order

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, from M.L. priorissa (c.1135), from prior "head of a priory of men" (see prior (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The hermitages in the orchard tumbled down, and the would-be prioress began to turn her attention elsewhere.
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