from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A suffix theoretically attachable to any noun denoting an (originally masculine) agent, to form a noun denoting a female agent, as hostess, abbess, prioress, chieftainess, authoress, etc. It is most frequent with nouns in -er, as bakeress, breweress, Quakeress, etc.
  • noun The name of the letter S, s. It is rarely so written, the symbol S, s, being used in its stead.
  • noun A large worm: so called from its often assuming the shape of an S.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • A suffix used to form feminine nouns.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • suffix Suffix appended to words to make a female form.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French -esse, from Late Latin -issa, from Ancient Greek -ισσα.


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