Definitions

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

  • n. Greek Mythology A priestess of Apollo at Delphi.
  • n. A prophetess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative capitalization of Pythoness
  • n. A female soothsayer
  • n. A female python.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The priestess who gave oracular answers at Delphi in Greece.
  • n. Any woman supposed to have a spirit of divination; a sort of witch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Pythia or especial priestess of Apollo at his temple at Delphi, who was supposed to be inspired to give his oracular answers; hence, any woman supposed to have a spirit of divination; a witch.

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

  • n. a witch with powers of divination
  • n. (Greek mythology) the priestess of Apollo at Delphi who transmitted the oracles

Etymologies

Middle English phitonesse, from Old French phitonise, from Late Latin pȳthonissa, from Greek Pūthōn, Python; see Python.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See Pythoness. (Wiktionary)
python +‎ -ess (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She was known as the Kansas pythoness in those days before women's suffrage made such references to a woman's sex politically incorrect.

    Ken Blackwell: Piddler on the Roof

  • Each one was sharp enough to weaken a normal man, render him helpless and send him to his knees begging for mercy in the face of a powerful Wiccan pythoness like Mysti.

    The After Wife

  • Like a pythoness possessed by the demon, she inspired awe rather than pleasure.

    The Magic Skin

  • It is only necessary to have a spirit like the pythoness; and, to bring this spirit of pythonism into successful operation it is only necessary that one party should be a knave and the other a fool; and no one can deny that such rencontres very frequently occur.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • The modern Chams find no difficulty worshipping the Hindu Trinity,the linga, the bull of Siva, a pythoness, Allah-- who is believed to have been an eleventh century Cham king-- plus Mohammed and a number of uncomprehended words taken from the Muslim invocations and regarded as the names of deities, each with its special function.

    Archive 2005-07-01

  • Alone like a pythoness on her tripod, like the oracle alone above the fissure into the unknown.

    Kangaroo

  • He had approached the family mansion in so blindly buoyant a spirit as to have set up his camera to photograph his first sight of it; and even the camera had taken on the semblance of the tripod of a tragic pythoness.

    The Complete Father Brown

  • [Castro] We will have to go to Greece to see a pythoness, to hear what she has to say about it.

    Fidel Castro Interviewed by Uruguayan Daily

  • Mademoiselle Lenormand, and he resolved that Madame de Girardin, Mery and Theophile Gautier should drive with him to the abode of the pythoness at Auteuil.

    Women in the Life of Balzac

  • Euangelidai, etc. These usually elected the staff of resident priests, the schools of prophets (at the oracle of Zeus Ammon, e.g., under an arch-prophet), and even, at times, the pythoness.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

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