prioress meaning

prioress meaning   The head of a group of nuns is a prioress. Geoffrey Chaucer immortalized this figure by including The Prioress‘s Tale as one of his 14th-century Canterbury Tales.

In the hierarchy of religious figures at a Carmelite or Dominican monastery, a group of nuns is lead by a prioress, whose superior is called an abbess. The male version of these ranks are prior and abbot, leaders who preside over a group of Catholic monks.

Definitions of prioress
  1. noun

    the superior of a group of nuns

    abbess, mother superior

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    Saint Bridget

    Irish abbess; a patron saint of Ireland (453-523)

    student and mistress and wife of Abelard (circa 1098-1164)



    a term of address for a mother superior

    type of:


    the head of a religious community
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