abbess (plural abbesses)
- 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. [First attested around 1150 to 1350]
- The abbess was always after the nuns to keep the convent immaculately clean.
- (archaic, British slang) A woman who runs a brothel; a woman employed by a prostitute to find clients.
- (female superior of a nunnery) mother superior
- (woman who runs a brothel) bawd, Covent Garden abbess, lady abbess, madam
- French: abbesse
- German: Äbtissin, Priorin, Oberin (Reverend Mother)
- Italian: badessa
- Portuguese: abadessa
- Russian: аббати́са
- Spanish: abadesa