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(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.
nun, novice, abbess, prioress, mother superior, reverend motherView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘The monastery functioned as a leprosarium and Juliana served there as a canoness until ousted during a conflict with townspeople.’
- ‘Hroswitha became a canoness and was allowed to leave the convent for outside visits.’
- ‘By 1216 there were approximately 700 houses and some 13,000 monks, nuns, canons, and canonesses.’
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