from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A woman who has taken a vow; a nun.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Whatever fasts a vowess might neglect as non-obligatory, it seems probable that she would not willingly forgo any opportunity of showing reverence to the Blessed Virgin, who, in the belief of St. Augustine, had taken vows of chastity before the salutation of the Angel.

    The Customs of Old England

  • Leland remarks, with reference to a member of the Marmion family at West Tanfield, Yorkshire: "There lyeth there alone a lady with the apparill of a vowess"; and in Norfolk there are still in existence two brasses of widows and vowesses.

    The Customs of Old England

  • That the vow was restricted to the obligation of perpetual chastity, and in no way curtailed the freedom and privileges which the vowess shared with other ladies, is demonstrated by the contents of various wills, like that of Katherine of Riplingham, dated February 8, 1473.

    The Customs of Old England

  • vowess’ (Holinshed); ‘ministress’, ‘flatteress’ (both in Holland);

    English Past and Present

  • Spiritus, "and at the close bestowed upon the vowess the mantle, the veil, and the ring.

    The Customs of Old England


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • They prayed, “May the Good Lord endow us

    With a novice of kitchen skill prowess.”

    He answered their plea

    With well-fed Marie,

    The convent’s most welcome new vowess.

    April 23, 2018