Definitions

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

  • n. A woman hired to do cleaning or similar work, usually in a large building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman employed to do housework.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman hired for odd work or for single days.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman hired to do chares or odd work, or to work by the day.

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

  • n. a human female employed to do housework

Etymologies

char + woman. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • WILLIS: A charwoman is a person who cleans a building, so she is responsible for cleaning up the building.

    CNN Transcript Jan 29, 2009

  • Normally, the chef would call a charwoman to clean up that sort of mess.

    The Book of Unholy Mischief

  • They had been lifted from a garbage can used by bureaucrats in some Soviet Russian Consulate, pilfered by what old British spy novelists used to call a "charwoman", in Yankee parlance, a janitor.

    Richard H. Smith: Could a California Budget Fix Threaten National Security?

  • (I say charwoman, meaning a woman who is paid to do work that other servants are hired to do, but will not.) [Illustration]

    The Pirate's Pocket Book

  • She usually dressed rather in the style of a superior kind of charwoman, and it was not so very surprising that she should have imagined that she was one; and still less that people should accept her statement and help her to get work.

    The Toys of Peace, and other papers

  • From the theatre, we lost: Daniel, our doorkeeper; two stagehands; one of the dray horses not from plague, of course; Mary, the wig mistress; and Sue, our charwoman.

    Exit the Actress

  • Sexually frustrated Acacius, in Halston's expert hands, is a scream, while Fraser's turn as both Walburga and an Irish charwoman, is a comic gem.

    Fern Siegel: Stage Door: The Divine Sister, The Screwtape Letters, Freckleface Strawberry

  • A charwoman-actress once captivated Mexican high society in her alter ego as Don Carlos Balmori

    Index to the "Mexico: Did you know?" series

  • The party of travellers was stopped short in the customs shed by the sight of a white cockney charwoman on her knees, scrubbing the floor.

    My Indian summer

  • A plaid shawl borrowed from the washerwoman, a ragged scrubbing skirt borrowed from the charwoman, and a gray wig rented from a costumer for twenty-five cents a night, completed the outfit; for Edna had elected to be an old Irishwoman singing broken-heartedly after her wandering boy.

    Amateur Night

Comments

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  • That's okay, sarra, they're both words, right?

    December 24, 2008

  • Whoops, I appear to have listed both this and charlady!

    December 24, 2008

  • See also char.

    December 24, 2008

  • She darted about the room like a charwoman in torment, now straightening a cushion, now folding a Special Racing Edition, now hustling a shameful pile of lingerie behind a modest curtain. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008