from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A poor man, supported in a beadhouse, and required to pray for the soul of its founder; an almsman.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A man employed in praying; especially, one who prays for another.
- n. In England, a man who resides in a beadhouse or almshouse, or is supported from its funds.
- n. Formerly, in Scotland, a public almsman; one who received alms from the king, and was expected in return to pray for the royal welfare and that of the state; a privileged or licensed beggar. In this sense usually spelled bedesman.
- n. A petitioner.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a person who is paid to pray for the soul of another
Sorry, no etymologies found.