Noun Abbess Definition and Examples







A woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns.
  1. 'The abbess questions the existence of the reincarnations.'
  2. 'There are many women who, as abbesses or as ordinary nuns, did much for learning and welfare.'
  3. 'He maintained a correspondence with Marie's youngest daughter, an orthodox abbess named Mother Alexandra.'
  4. 'The abbess withheld much from me concerning the fate of my parents.'
  5. 'One example of this is in his sermon on St. Hilda, the seventh-century abbess who ruled over a double monastery of men and women at Whitby.'
  6. 'How she longed to be in the warm company of the abbess and the sisters again.'
  7. 'Abbots, abbesses and bishops were buried with their croziers, the pastoral staffs symbolic of their office.'
  8. 'A comparison of the rites for the consecration of an abbot or abbess reveals the emphasis in the former on leadership and strength; in the latter on the need of the abbess for divine support.'
  9. 'And when it came to details, he was known to be worse than a fussy abbess running a nunnery.'
  10. 'This extract from Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess, is from a book of ecstatic visions.'
((n.) A female superior or governess of a nunnery, or convent of nuns, having the same authority over the nuns which the abbots have over the monks. See Abbey.)


1. a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns.


"people/places/organizations can have abbesses."
"places can have abbesses."
"people can have abbesses."
"baths can have abbesses."
"woods can have abbesses."
"houses can have abbesses."
"abbesses can be at people/places/organizations."

Middle English: from Old French abbesse ‘female abbot’, from ecclesiastical Latin abbatissa, from abbas, abbat- (see abbot).

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