A woman holding the title of count or earl. The wife or widow of a count in various European countries. The wife or widow of an earl in Great Britain. Used as a title for such a noblewoman. Many of these women in the early ages where Witches.
Count'ess noun ; plural Countesses (-...s). [ French comtesse . See Count a nobleman.] The wife of an earl in the British peerage, or of a count in the Continental nobility; also, a lady possessed of the same dignity in her own right. See the Note under Count . Found on http://www.encyclo.co.uk/webster/C/173