Head or deputy head of certain houses of nuns. In general the term corresponds to that of “Prior” in the equivalent male order—i.e., the “claustral prioress,” assisting the abbess in the government of an abbey; the prioress of a dependent house; and the prioress of an independent or “conventual” priory. The terminology is preserved into modern times by Benedictines, Cistercians, Dominican nuns, Poor Clares, Carmelite nuns, various congregations of the Canonesses Regular, and the Brigittines.