Share this entry

vowess Line breaks: vow¦ess
Pronunciation: /ˈvaʊɛs/

Definition of vowess in English:

noun

archaic
A woman who took religious vows or a vow of chastity.
Example sentences
  • She was divorced and avoided marriage for the rest of her life, becoming a vowess.
  • This discourse of spiritual marriage to Christ might also be used by a widow desiring to avoid remarriage by becoming a vowess.
  • Vowesses were often widows but not always.

Origin

Early 16th century: from vow + -ess1.

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 confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
noun
a person with whom one shares a secret...