Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The wife or widow of a marquess.
  • noun A noblewoman ranking above a countess and below a duchess.
  • noun Used as a title for such a noblewoman.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The wife or widow of a marquis.—2. A size of slate measuring 22 inches by 11.

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

  • noun The wife or the widow of a marquis; a woman who has the rank and dignity of a marquis.

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

  • noun The wife of a marquess.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a noblewoman ranking below a duchess and above a countess
  • noun the wife or widow of a marquis

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Medieval Latin marchiōnissa, wife of a margrave, marchioness, feminine of marchiō, marchiōn-, marquis, from marca, boundary, of Germanic origin; see merg- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Lady Florimel wept incessantly for three days; on the fourth she looked out on the sea and thought it very dreary; on the fifth she found a certain gratification in hearing herself called the marchioness; on the sixth she tried on her mourning and was pleased; on the seventh she went with the funeral and wept again; on the eighth came Lady Bellair, who on the ninth carried her away.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 85, January, 1875

  • Lady Florimel wept incessantly for three days; on the fourth she looked out on the sea and thought it very dreary; on the fifth she found a certain gratification in hearing herself called the marchioness; on the sixth she tried on her mourning, and was pleased; on the seventh she went with the funeral and wept again; on the eighth came Lady Bellair, who on the ninth carried her away.

    Malcolm

  • One assumes there are many important moments in the life of a marchioness, which is the British aristocratic title that comes after duchess.

    Saturday Conversation: The Marchioness of Worcester

  • Of course, to become a marchioness was a substantial lure as well, especially when Raoul talked of the family estates in the Loire.

    The Dressmaker

  • The marchioness was a lady with a passion for bridge, and an intense admiration for Adrien Leroy.

    Adrien Leroy

  • The widow of a marquis, whom you should by rights call a marchioness dowager (but we overlook it -- you meant no harm) is entitled (in any hotel that we know or frequent) to go in to dinner whenever, and as often, as she likes.

    Frenzied Fiction

  • The marchioness was a woman of the world, while her husband's interests were confined to his books.

    Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 29: Florence to Trieste

  • The marchioness was a woman of the world, while her husband's interests were confined to his books.

    The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

  • England, the same order of succession which justice required, was also the most conformable to public interest; and there was not on any side any just ground for doubt or deliberation: that when these three princesses were excluded by such solid reasons, the succession devolved on the marchioness of Dorset, elder daughter of the French queen and the duke of Suffolk: that the next heir of the marchioness was the lady Jane

    The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. From Henry VII. to Mary

  • "No," the duchess admitted, "but it so happens that your grandmother the marchioness was my particular friend.

    Ungrateful Governess

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