Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A housemaid, especially a wet nurse, in India and the Far East.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman employed to look after children in India; a wet nurse.
  • n. A maid in China and other parts of Asia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a woman hired to suckle a child of someone else.
  • n. a female domestic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A nurse; especially, a wet-nurse.
  • n. A lady's-maid; a maid-servant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a woman hired to suckle a child of someone else
  • n. a female domestic

Etymologies

Portuguese ama, nurse, from Medieval Latin amma, mother.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Portuguese ama, from Medieval Latin amma, perhaps an alteration of mamma, of imitative origin, or from Ancient Greek. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Ni'amah's house and frequented his slave-wife, Naomi.

    Arabian nights. English

  • Quoth Ni'amah's mother, "I fear lest thy lord know;" but said the old woman, "By Allah, I will not let her take seat on the floor; no, she shall look, standing on her feet, and not tarry."

    Arabian nights. English

  • “She got a great deal from her amah,” said Marian.

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

  • “That amah, she raised her,” Grace said sniff-ily.

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

  • Looking after Carol for the first time without an amah, cooking, cleaning, washing, and shopping for a family of three on the single modest salary that was all they had now that she herself was no longer teaching, meant hard physical labor and stringent economy.

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

  • Gov Zaldy clasping my hand said: “Ipaubaya ni amah si Datu Unsay sayo” and turned over Datu Unsay to me.

    Philippines: Martial Law Declared in Maguindano Province

  • The word for “maidservant” is amah, which can connote a high status or honorific title, as well as marital status, when it is associated with an important official such as Elnathan the governor.

    Shelomith 2: Bible.

  • The inclusion of a female Davidic descendant as amah with Elnathan was certainly one way of solidifying local support for the Persian-appointed administration.

    Shelomith 2: Bible.

  • Has two Secret Service men, and brought over two of her own, a trained nurse, amah, cook, etc.

    The Last Empress

  • I climbed out of the window and escaped with the help of my amah.

    The Last Empress

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