Share this entry

duenna Line breaks: du¦enna
Pronunciation: /duːˈɛnə/

Definition of duenna in English:


An older woman acting as a governess and companion in charge of girls, especially in a Spanish family; a chaperone.
Example sentences
  • She brought an entourage of some sixty people, from her aristocratic duenna, Dona Elvira, to her bishops and chaplains, her ladies, her pages, her fool, her butler and her cooks.
  • But, in spite of a large padlock on the door, Leander, a young lover, presents himself during Diego's absence, cajoles the duenna and Mungo, the servant, and gains admission to the lady.


Mid 17th century: earlier form of Spanish dueña, from Latin domina 'lady, mistress'.

Words that rhyme with duenna

antenna, Avicenna, henna, Jenna, Jenner, Morwenna, Ravenna, senna, Siena, sienna, tenner, tenor, Vienna

Definition of duenna in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser