from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The wife of a count or earl.
  • n. The title used by a female who holds an earldom in her own right.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The wife of an earl in the British peerage, or of a count in the Continental nobility; also, a lady possessed of the same dignity in her own right. See the Note under count.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The title, in English, of the wife of any nobleman on the continent of Europe bearing a title equivalent to English count: commonly extended also to the daughters of such noblemen as a prefix to their personal names.
  • n. In the British peerage, the wife or widow of an earl, or a woman possessing an earldom in her own right.
  • n. A roofing-slate 20 inches long and 10 inches wide.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. female equivalent of a count or earl


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English countes, from Old French contesse, feminine of conte, count; see count2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman cuntesse, Old French contesse, from Latin comitessa.


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