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From priest +‎ -ess.


priestess (plural priestesses, masculine priest)

  1. A woman with religious duties and responsibilities.
Usage notes[edit]

Chiefly with regard to ancient or Pagan religions, or metaphorically. In Protestant denominations that admit women to the priesthood, such as Anglicanism, they are generally referred to as priests.



priestess (third-person singular simple present priestesses, present participle priestessing, simple past and past participle priestessed)

  1. (transitive) To oversee (a pagan ceremony) as priestess.
    • 1998, Wendy Hunter Roberts, Celebrating Her: Feminist Ritualizing Comes of Age (page 124)
      Ye Ye Ife, a gifted feminist ritualist and priestess of Oshun from San Diego, trained in the Yoruba tradition, designed and priestessed the ritual with me.
    • 2014, Danu Forest, Celtic Tree Magic: Ogham Lore and Druid Mysteries
      Priestessing the earth is for me personally the only natural response to the awe and deep love this evokes in me.
    • 2014, John C. Sulak, ‎Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, ‎Oberon Zell, The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism
      I priestessed the ceremony. I played Hecate. One time I played Demeter and my daughter played Persephone.