duchess

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See also: Duchess

English[edit]

The Duchess Anna Amalia von Weimar (1795).

Etymology[edit]

From Old French duchesse

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

duchess (plural duchesses)

  1. The female spouse or widow of a duke.
    • 2012, Caroline Davies, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting first baby (in The Guardian, 3 December 2012)[1]
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have ended months of intense speculation by announcing they are expecting their first child, but were forced to share their news earlier than hoped because of the Duchess's admission to hospital on Monday.
  2. The female ruler of a duchy (where women can reign).

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Verb[edit]

duchess (third-person singular simple present duchesses, present participle duchessing, simple past and past participle duchessed)

  1. (UK, informal) to court or curry favour for political or business advantage; to flatter obsequiously.
    • 1956, John Thomas Lang, I Remember, page 64,
      On arrival in England he was “duchessed” in a manner that no Australian Prime Minister has ever been “duchessed” before or since. Northcliffe was looking for someone around whom he could build a campaign against Asquith. Hughes filled the bill nicely.
    • 1996, Shane Maloney, The Brush-Off, 2003, page 46,
      ‘A word to the wise, Murray. Those wogs you′ve been duchessing at Ethnic Affairs have got nothing on the culture vultures. Tear the flesh right off your bones, they will.’
    • 2004, Humphrey McQueen, A New Britannia, Fourth Edition, page 66,
      The traditional version of Hughes′ decision to introduce conscription gives central importance to his visit to London in April 1916 where it is alleged he was duchessed and deceived concerning recruitment figures.
    • 2006, Jacqueline Dickenson, Renegades and Rats: Betrayal and the Remaking of Radical Organisations in Britain and Australia, page 144,
      But by 1914 Grayson had, according to Groves, been thoroughly duchessed, believing that he could enjoy the good things in life and still serve the cause.