abbess


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

ab·bess

 (ăb′ĭs)
n.
1. The superior of a convent.
2. Used as a title for such a person.

[Middle English abesse, from Old French, from Late Latin abbātissa, from abbās, abbāt-, abbot; see abbot.]

abbess

(ˈæbɪs)
n
(Ecclesiastical Terms) the female superior of a convent
[C13: from Old French, from Church Latin abbātissa]

ab•bess

(ˈæb ɪs)

n.
a woman who is the superior of a convent of nuns.
[1275–1325; Middle English < Old French abbesse, abaesse < Late Latin abbātissa, feminine of abbās abbot]
usage: See -ess.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.abbess - the superior of a group of nunsabbess - the superior of a group of nuns  
mother - a term of address for a mother superior
superior - the head of a religious community
Translations
abatyše
abbedisse
abbedissa
abbadís
abbatissa
abatiša
opatinja
abbedissa

abbess

[ˈæbɪs] Nabadesa f

abbess

[ˈæbɛs] nabbesse f

abbess

nÄbtissin f

abbess

[ˈæbɪs] nbadessa

abbot

(ˈӕbət) feminine abbess (ˈӕbes) noun
the male head of an abbey.
References in classic literature ?
The abbess assigned her a chamber, and had breakfast served.
At Whitby there was a monastery ruled over by the Abbess Hilda.
This was the cloister of the nuns, and the old woman was the Abbess. They all spent their time in spinning, and that is why the convent has this name.
Long and earnest had been the talks of the gaunt lady abbess, in which she had conjured the young novice to turn forever from the world, and to rest her bruised heart under the broad and peaceful shelter of the church.
'Cook,' said the lady abbess, who took care to be on the top stair, the very last of the group--'cook, why don't you go a little way into the garden?'
"The Lady Abbess takes good care to shut out all the noise we make.
Now there is a dispute as to this abbess who bled him.
Mental suffering and trial supply, in some natures, the place of years, and I will be as plain with you as if I were a Lady Abbess. No.
They all offered their services to Eugenio but he who showed himself most liberal in this way was Don Quixote, who said to him, "Most assuredly, brother goatherd, if I found myself in a position to attempt any adventure, I would, this very instant, set out on your behalf, and would rescue Leandra from that convent (where no doubt she is kept against her will), in spite of the abbess and all who might try to prevent me, and would place her in your hands to deal with her according to your will and pleasure, observing, however, the laws of chivalry which lay down that no violence of any kind is to be offered to any damsel.
I shall never forget that grey dress with ample skirts and long corsage yet with infinite style, the ancient as if ghostly beauty of outlines, the black lace, the silver hair, the harmonious, restrained movements of those white, soft hands like the hands of a queen - or an abbess; and in the general fresh effect of her person the brilliant eyes like two stars with the calm reposeful way they had of moving on and off one, as if nothing in the world had the right to veil itself before their once sovereign beauty.
Becoming Abbot of a monastery, he had her made Abbess of a convent.
A monotonous, silent city, deriving an earthy flavour throughout from its Cathedral crypt, and so abounding in vestiges of monastic graves, that the Cloisterham children grow small salad in the dust of abbots and abbesses, and make dirt-pies of nuns and friars; while every ploughman in its outlying fields renders to once puissant Lord Treasurers, Archbishops, Bishops, and such-like, the attention which the Ogre in the story-book desired to render to his unbidden visitor, and grinds their bones to make his bread.