(Especially in former times) a woman employed to teach children in a private household.
More example sentences
- Only a poor minister, he knew his daughters would likely have to work as teachers or governesses, and their education would be indispensable.
- Sometimes a governess would be employed to supervise the correspondence lessons and teach additional lessons.
- Born in London, taught by governesses, she combined her early love of drawing with a keen interest in natural history, copying flowers and drawing small animals kept as pets or found on summer holidays in Scotland and the Lakes.
Middle English (originally governeress, denoting a female ruler): from Old French governeresse, feminine of governeour 'governor', from Latin gubernator, from gubernare (see govern).