Words related to -ess

heiress (n.)
1650s, from heir + -ess. A female heir, but especially a woman who has inherited, or stands to inherit, considerable wealth.
hostess (n.)
late 13c., "woman who keeps an inn or public hotel," from host (n.1) + -ess, or from Old French ostesse, hostesse "hostess; servant; guest" (Modern French hôtesse). Old French also had ostelaine; the Latin word was hospita. Meaning "woman who presides at a dinner party, etc." recorded by 1822. Also used mid-20c. in sense "female who entertains customers in nightclubs," with overtones of prostitution.
huntress (n.)
late 14c.; see hunter + -ess. Old English had hunticge.
lioness (n.)
"female lion," c. 1300, leoness, from lion + -ess. From late 14c., of persons, "fierce or cruel woman." From 1590s as "woman who is boldly public;" from 1808 as "woman who is a focus of public interest."
maness (n.)

"woman as the feminine of man," 1590s, from man (n.) + -ess.

ogress (n.)

"a female ogre," 1713; see ogre + -ess.

poetess (n.)

"woman who is a poet," 1520s, from poet + -ess. Earlier fem. form was poetresse (early 15c., from Old French poeteresse). Old Norse had skaldkona "poetess."

priestess (n.)

"woman who officiates in sacred rites, a female minister of religion," 1690s, from priest + -ess. Earlier was priestress (mid-15c. prēsteresse).

prophetess (n.)

"woman who speaks or prognosticates by divine inspiration, a sibyl," late 14c., from or modeled on Old French prophetesse, Late Latin prophetissa. See prophet + -ess.

Page 2