Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A woman who wails or mourns: used in the quotation with reference to professional mourners.

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

  • noun obsolete A woman who wails.

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

  • noun rare A female professional mourner

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From wailer +‎ -ess

Examples

  • (Jer.xxi. 13); ‘waileress’ (Jer.ix. 17); ‘cheseress’ (= electrix, Wisd.viii. 4); ‘singeress’, ‘breakeress’, ‘waiteress’, this last indeed having recently come up again.

    English Past and Present

  • ‘wailer’, beside ‘waileress’, had ‘wailster’ (Jer.ix. 17); ‘dweller’

    English Past and Present

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