from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A woman who has the care and management of children or of a house; a governess.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A governess.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic A governess.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French gouvernante. See govern.


  • Wo men of quality for the generality have their trains borne up by he or she dwarfs: they have also an old woman with them, which they call their governante, and an old gentleman usher, whose office it is to follow their coach on foot, and to help them out of it when they alight; though the reason of these two old peopled waiting on them does not proceed from any jealousy in their husbands, as in most of the eastern countries, since the Polish ladies are generally very modest, and do not at all abuse the great liberty that is allowed them.

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. I.

  • The standing jest of the fifteenth century on the "governante" of the curé was replaced, in


  • As I had already destined my old landlady to be my house-keeper and governante, knowing her honesty, good-nature, and, although a Scotchwoman, her cleanliness and excellent temper (saving the short and hasty expressions of anger which Highlanders call a FUFF), I now proposed the plan to her in such a way as was likely to make it most acceptable.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • When she replied in the negative, he proposed to accompany her thither immediately; but the governante, who had hitherto sat silent, objected to this proposal; telling them, in broken English, that as the lady was under her care, she could not answer to Mr. Hornbeck for allowing her to visit such a suspicious place.

    The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

  • Indeed this lacquey had been hired, not only as a spy upon his mistress, but also as a check on the conduct of the governante, with promise of ample reward if ever he should discover any sinister or suspicious practices in the course of her behaviour.

    The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

  • Ah! let us hope his governante tucked him comfortably in bed when he got to Faro that night, and made him a warm gruel and put his feet in warm water.

    Notes of a Journey From Cornhill to Grand Cairo

  • The meal was seasoned by talk of old times and by the plans which Ailie laid out for futurity, in which she assigned her young master all the prudential habits of her old one, and planned out the dexterity with which she was to exercise her duty as governante.

    Old Mortality

  • This was a great point which our adventurer had gained; and yet he plainly perceived that the governante mistook his meaning, by giving herself credit for all the passion he had professed.

    The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

  • Hastily, yet with a reluctant quiver of his muscles, Milnwood lugged out two ponderous keys, and delivered them to the governante.

    Old Mortality

  • This hint, which she communicated in a whisper while the governante stood at the other end of the room, was sufficient to interest the compassionate Dolly in her behalf.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves


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