English Dictionary

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suffix forming nouns

  1. indicating a female   ⇒  ■ waitress,   ⇒  ■ lioness
USAGE The suffix -ess in such words as poetess, authoress is now almost invariably regarded as disparaging or extremely old-fashioned; a gender-neutral term poet, author is preferred

Word Origin

via Old French from Late Latin -issa, from Greek


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