IPA: ʌbˈɛs


  • 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.
  • (archaic, British slang) A woman who runs a brothel; a woman employed by a prostitute to find clients.

Examples of "abbess" in Sentences

  • The nuns then elected her as the new abbess.
  • Eventually she became the abbess of the convent.
  • She was the abbess of Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire.
  • In European history the abbess is a notable figure.
  • The first abbess of the Forest priory was named in 1239.
  • Adelbrin was the legendary first abbess of the monastery.
  • In the eleventh century the abbess was a powerful local figure.
  • The convent was disbanded in 1570, when the last abbess married.
  • She became the Paraclete's abbess and spent the rest of her life there.
  • Originally, the Mother Abbess sings the song at the end of the first act.
  • She was the Abbess of Fontevraud, the ancient and wealthy convent in Anjou.
  • The abbess was a baroness _ex officio_, and the revenue at the dissolution of the monasteries was £1084.
  • In this instance the abbess was the head of all; and this accounts for Bede's calling the house a nunnery.
  • At the head of the community is a superior often called the abbess, appointed for life by the chapter, at least outside Italy, for in
  • The abbess is the only person who knows precisely the location of the service, knowledge which was passed down for one thousand years from abbess to abbess.
  • Moreover, many a time and in many things I observed their customs, for fear of worse, and being asked by the chief of the ladies, her whom they call abbess, if
  • At Fontevrault (founded 1099) and with the Bridgettines (1346), the abbess was the superior of monks as well as nuns, though with the Gilbertines (1146) it was the prior who ruled over both.
  • Although the abbess was a person exactly after his own heart, my education as a pensioner devolved much on an excellent old mother who had adopted the tenets of the Jansenists, with perhaps a still further tendency towards the reformed doctrines, than those of Port Royal.
  • Later in that same article, Coffman notes that the use of fish in a spiritual fast was cause for great culinary creativity in the Medieval kitchen, and a French abbess is credited for the creation of the divine dish which I hesitate to categorize as “fish soup” called bouillabaisse.

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