Definition of duchess in English:


Line breaks: duch|ess
Pronunciation: /ˈdʌtʃɪs
, -ɛs/


  • 1The wife or widow of a duke.
    More example sentences
    • There are the kings and queens, princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, and barons.
    • The duchess, a widow, is forbidden to marry again by her brothers Duke Ferdinand and the cardinal because they want to control her wealth.
    • None of the dogs belonging to either the duke and duchess or the earl and countess ever barked.
  • 1.1A woman holding a rank equivalent to duke in her own right.
    More example sentences
    • Sarah strolled into the Blue Salon, an elegant parlor in the east wing of the house, and found the duchess in conversation with Lady Rhianna.
    • She rose in rank from fair maiden to fair lady and then to duchess.
    • A lady below the rank of duchess was likely to be rusticated from the court if she sat upon a cushioned stool in the royal chapel or, if in the presence of the King, anywhere else.
  • 1.2British informal (Especially among cockneys) an affectionate form of address used by a man to a girl or woman: ‘Spotted a likely one, duchess?’


late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin ducissa, from Latin dux, duc- (see duke).

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