/kown"tis/, n.
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; ME c(o)untesse < AF. See COUNT2, -ESS]
Usage. See -ess.

* * *

(as used in expressions)
Barry Marie Jeanne Bécu countess du
Matilda the Great Countess
Lovelace Augusta Ada King countess of

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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  • countess — mid 12c., adopted in Anglo Fr. for the wife of an earl, from M.L. cometissa, fem. of L. comes count (see COUNT (Cf. count) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • countess — ► NOUN 1) the wife or widow of a count or earl. 2) a woman holding the rank of count or earl …   English terms dictionary

  • countess — [kount′is] n. [ME countesse < OFr contesse < ML cometissa: see COUNT2 & ESS] 1. the wife or widow of a count or earl 2. a noblewoman whose rank is equal to that of a count or earl …   English World dictionary

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  • Countess — Coun|tess 〈[ kaʊntıs] f.; , es [ tısız]; engl. Bez. für〉 Gräfin (Frau eines Earls od. Counts) * * * Coun|tess [ ka̮untɪs ], die; , es […tɪsɪz], auch en [… tɛsn̩] [engl. countess < frz. comtesse, ↑ Komtess]: 1. <o. Pl.> englischer Titel… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • countess — UK [ˈkaʊntɪs] / US [ˈkaʊntəs] noun [countable] Word forms countess : singular countess plural countesses a woman who is a member of the nobility. A countess is either a woman with the same rank as an earl or a count, or the wife of an earl or… …   English dictionary

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  • countess — [[t]ka͟ʊntɪs[/t]] countesses N COUNT; N TITLE; N VOC A countess is a woman who has the same rank as a count or earl, or who is married to a count or earl. ...the Countess of Lichfield …   English dictionary

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