Can"on*ess (?), n. [Cf. LL. canonissa.]
A woman who holds a canonry in a conventual chapter.
Regular canoness, one bound by the poverty, and observing a strict rule of life. -- Secular canoness, one allowed to hold private property, and bound only by vows of chastity and obedience so long as she chose to remain in the chapter.
© Webster 1913.