A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ab-is]
    • /ˈæb ɪs/
    • /ˈæb.es/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ab-is]
    • /ˈæb ɪs/

Definitions of abbess word

  • countable noun abbess An abbess is the nun who is in charge of the other nuns in a convent. 3
  • noun abbess the female superior of a convent 3
  • noun abbess a woman who is head of an abbey of nuns 3
  • noun abbess a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns. 1
  • noun abbess See -ess.   1
  • noun abbess A woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of abbess

First appearance:

before 1275
One of the 13% oldest English words
1275-1325; Middle English abbesse < Old French abbesse, abaesse < Late Latin abbātissa, feminine of abbās abbot; replacing Middle English abbatisse < Late Latin; in turn replacing Old English abadisse, abbodesse (compare Old High German abbatissa) < Late Latin *ab(b)adissa for abbātissa

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Abbess


abbess popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 81% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

abbess usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for abbess

noun abbess

  • sister — a female offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; female sibling.
  • vestal — of or relating to the goddess Vesta.
  • mother superior — the head of a Christian religious community for women.
  • anchorite — a person who lives in seclusion, esp a religious recluse; hermit
  • prioress — a woman holding a position corresponding to that of a prior, sometimes ranking next below an abbess.

Antonyms for abbess

noun abbess

  • monk — (James) Arthur ("Art") born 1957, U.S. football player.

Top questions with abbess

  • what is an abbess?
  • who played mother abbess in the sound of music?
  • what is abbess?
  • what does abbess mean?

See also

Matching words

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