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pythoness

[pahy-thuh-nis, pith-uh-] /ˈpaɪ θə nɪs, ˈpɪθ ə-/
noun
1.
a woman believed to be possessed by a soothsaying spirit, as the priestess of Apollo at Delphi.
2.
a woman who practices divination.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; python2 + -ess; replacing Middle English phytonesse < Middle French
Usage note
See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pythoness

pythoness

/ˈpaɪθəˌnɛs/
noun
1.
a woman, such as Apollo's priestess at Delphi, believed to be possessed by an oracular spirit
2.
a female soothsayer
Word Origin
C14 phitonesse, ultimately from Greek PuthōnPython
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 pythoness
n.

late 14c., "woman with the power of soothsaying," from Old French phitonise (13c.), from Late Latin pythonissa, used in Vulgate of the Witch of Endor (I Sam. xxviii:7), and often treated as her proper name, literally fem. of pytho "familiar spirit;" which ultimately is connected with the title of the prophetess of the Delphic Oracle, Greek pythia hiereia, from Pythios, an epithet of Apollo, from Pytho, older name of the region of Delphi (see python).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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