Definition of vowess in English:

vowess

noun

archaic
  • A woman who took religious vows or a vow of chastity.

    • ‘This discourse of spiritual marriage to Christ might also be used by a widow desiring to avoid remarriage by becoming a vowess.’
    • ‘Her chapter concerning the library of the London vowess Margery de Nerford also discusses the events surrounding de Nerford's wardship, forced marriage, ensuing divorce, and legal battles.’
    • ‘Vowesses were often widows but not always.’
    • ‘She was divorced and avoided marriage for the rest of her life, becoming a vowess.’
    • ‘The Vowess in a blue dress with white hood is kneeling before the Bishop.’
    sister, novice, abbess, prioress, mother superior, reverend mother
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century: from vow + -ess.

Pronunciation

vowess

/ˈvaʊɛs/