Meaning of canoness in English:



  • (in the Roman Catholic Church) a member of certain religious orders of women living communally according to an ecclesiastical rule in the same way as nuns.

    • ‘In Scotland there were a dozen or so nunneries, mainly Cistercian, and in Ireland about ten of the 140 monasteries were nunneries, all of them for regular canonesses.’
    • ‘By 1216 there were approximately 700 houses and some 13,000 monks, nuns, canons, and canonesses.’
    • ‘Hroswitha became a canoness and was allowed to leave the convent for outside visits.’
    • ‘The monastery functioned as a leprosarium and Juliana served there as a canoness until ousted during a conflict with townspeople.’
    nun, novice, abbess, prioress, Mother Superior, Reverend Mother