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From Middle English princesse, a borrowing from Anglo-Norman princesse, Old French princesse, corresponding to prince +‎ -ess.


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


princess (plural princesses)

  1. A female member of a royal family other than a queen, especially a daughter or granddaughter of a monarch. [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.]
    • 2014, Blake Masters, Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future:
      Michael Jackson was the king of pop. Britney Spears was the pop princess. Until they weren't.
  3. (now archaic) A female ruler or monarch; a queen. [from 15th c.]
  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 (or less commonly a man) who is vain, spoiled, or selfish; a prima donna. [from 20th c.]
  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.
  10. A Bulgarian open-faced baked sandwich prepared with ground meat.

Usage notes[edit]

  • A princess is usually styled “Her Highness”. A princess in a royal family is “Her Royal Highness”; in an imperial family “Her Imperial Highness”.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]