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From sempster +‎ -ess.



sempstress (plural sempstresses)

  1. A seamstress, a woman employed to sew.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 950:
      They were composed of a heterogeneous collection of men and women of the lower layers of society, workmen, sempstresses, night watchmen, farm-hands, mechanics and railway-workers – a laic image in sharp contrast to the bourgeois image produced in the cathedral.