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1. A woman holding the title of count or earl.
a. The wife or widow of a count in various European countries.
b. The wife or widow of an earl in Great Britain.
3. Used as a title for such a noblewoman.

[Middle English countes, from Old French contesse, feminine of conte, count; see count2.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the wife or widow of a count or earl
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a woman of the rank of count or earl
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkaʊn tɪs)

1. the wife or widow of a count in the nobility of continental Europe or of an earl in the British peerage.
2. a woman having the rank of a count or earl in her own right.
[1125–75; Middle English c(o)untesse < Anglo-French. See count2, -ess]
usage: See -ess.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.countess - female equivalent of a count or earlcountess - female equivalent of a count or earl
noblewoman, peeress, Lady - a woman of the peerage in Britain
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
كونتيسا: زوْجَة أو أرمَـلَـة الكونْتكونتيسّـا: لَقَب نباله للسيِّده
greifafrú, greifynjajarlsfrú, greifynja


[ˈkaʊntɪs] Ncondesa f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


Countess [ˈkaʊntɪs] ncomtesse f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nGräfin f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈkaʊntɪs] ncontessa
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(kaunt) noun
nobleman in certain countries, equal in rank to a British earl.
ˈcountess noun
1. the wife or widow of an earl or count.
2. a woman of the same rank as an earl or count in her own right.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
When he inquired if anybody knew the Countess Narona, he was answered by something like a shout of astonishment.
Descending to particulars, each member of the club contributed his own little stock of scandal to the memoirs of the Countess. It was doubtful whether she was really, what she called herself, a Dalmatian lady.
He was asked derisively what he thought of the circumstances under which the Countess had become engaged to be married; and he made the characteristic answer, that he thought the circumstances highly creditable to both parties, and that he looked on the lady's future husband as a most enviable man.
Five minutes later there came in a friend of Kitty's, married the preceding winter, Countess Nordston.
The Countess Nordston and Levin got into that relation with one another not seldom seen in society, when two persons, who remain externally on friendly terms, despise each other to such a degree that they cannot even take each other seriously, and cannot even be offended by each other.
"It's very flattering for me, countess, that you remember my words so well," responded Levin, who had succeeded in recovering his composure, and at once from habit dropped into his tone of joking hostility to the Countess Nordston.
Ever since the morning, carriages with six horses had been coming and going continually, bringing visitors to the Countess Rostova's big house on the Povarskaya, so well known to all Moscow.
The countess was a woman of about forty-five, with a thin Oriental type of face, evidently worn out with childbearing- she had had twelve.
"Marya Lvovna Karagina and her daughter!" announced the countess' gigantic footman in his bass voice, entering the drawing room.
"It seems presumption on my part to make such a suggestion perhaps," he said slowly, "but I really believe that the Countess is in earnest with reference to her desire for seclusion just at present.
By the bye, is there not some question of an impending marriage on the part of the Countess?"
"The Countess is a very charming, a very beautiful, and a most attractive woman," he said slowly.