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From founder +‎ -ess.


foundress (plural foundresses)

  1. A female founder.
    • 1868, George William Erskine Russell, Collections and Recollections[1]:
      Miss Sellon, the foundress of English sisterhoods, adopted and brought up in her convent at Devonport a little Irish waif who had been made an orphan by the outbreak of cholera in 1849.
    • 1902, Charles Johnston, Ireland, Historic and Picturesque[2]:
      She was the foundress of a school of religious teaching for women at Kildare, or Killdara, "The Church of the Oak-woods," whose name still records her work.
    • 1913, John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals[3]:
      The method of healing of Jesus Christ and that of the foundress of Christian Science are not one and the same method, although called by the name of faith they appear at first sight to the unwary to be identical.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 404:
      Francis's own unlovely tunic, and that of his female colleague Clare, foundress of parallel communities for women, are lovingly preserved and displayed by the nuns of St Clare in Assisi [...].