Definition of governess in English:


Line breaks: gov¦ern|ess
Pronunciation: /ˈgʌv(ə)nɪs


  • (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.
    tutor, instructress, duenna; French mademoiselle
    archaic tutoress, tutress, tutrice, tutrix


Middle English (originally governeress, denoting a female ruler): from Old French governeresse, feminine of governeour 'governor', from Latin gubernator, from gubernare (see govern).

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody