• (RP) IPA: /ˈæb.ɪs/, /ˈæb.ɛs/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈæb.ɪs/, /ˈæb.ɛs/

abbess (plural abbesses)

  1. 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.
  2. (archaic, British slang) A woman who runs a brothel; a woman employed by a prostitute to find clients.
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