princess

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman princess, Middle French princesse, corresponding to prince +‎ -ess.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹɪnˈsɛs/, /ˈpɹɪnsɛs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɪnsɛs/, /ˈpɹɪnsɪs/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

princess (plural princesses)

  1. A female member of a royal family other than a queen, especially a daughter or granddaughter. [from 14th c.]
    • 1872, George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin
      She did not cry long, however, for she was as brave as could be expected of a princess of her age.
  2. A woman or girl who excels in a given field or class. [from 14th c.]
  3. (now archaic) A female ruler or monarch; a queen. [from 15th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.12:
      And running all with greedie ioyfulnesse / To faire Irena, at her feet did fall, / And her adored with due humblenesse, / As their true Liege and Princesse naturall [...].
  4. The wife of a prince; the female ruler of a principality. [from 15th c.]
    Princess Grace was the Princess of Monaco.
  5. A young girl; used as a term of endearment. [from 18th c.]
  6. (derogatory, chiefly US) A young girl or woman considered vain, spoiled or selfish; a prima donna. [from 20th c.]
    You're a real princess.
  7. A tinted crystal marble used in children's games.
  8. A type of court card in the Tarot pack, coming between the 10 and the prince (Jack).
  9. A female lemur.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Possessive forms: princess's (main form used by academics and book publishers) The princess's golden hair.; princess' (main form used by newspapers) The princess' golden hair.
  • A princess is usually styled “Her Highness”. A princess in a royal family is “Her Royal Highness”; in an imperial family “Her Imperial Highness”.

Coordinate terms[edit]

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]