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Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Definitions for doyenne

  1. A woman who is the senior member of a group, class, or profession.

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Citations for doyenne
Inspector Neele propounded to himself three separate highly coloured reasons why the faithful doyenne of the typists' room should have poisoned her employer's mid-morning cup of tea, and rejected them as unlikely. Agatha Christie, A Pocket Full of Rye
Her physical characteristics had shifted over time, from soft to hard, from blond to gray, and tight to slack and swollen. This doyenne of crochet and pregnancy was to me one woman and all women, because everything about her was variable, including her temperament. Darin Strauss, Chang and Eng
Origin of doyenne
1900-1905
Doyenne only came into common English use in the early 1900s, but it originates in the Old French word deien, which is also the root of the word dean. The suffix -enne is a French suffix for a personal female noun.