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

  • n. A woman who suckles another woman's child.
  • n. One who treats another with excessive care or solicitude.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman hired to suckle another woman's child.
  • n. Someone who treats someone else with excessive care.
  • v. To act as a wet nurse (in either sense.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See Wet nurse, and Dry nurse, in the Vocabulary.
  • A nurse who suckles a child, especially the child of another woman. Cf. dry nurse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman employed to suckle the infant of another.
  • To act as a wet-nurse to; suckle.
  • Hence To coddle as a wet-nurse does: treat with the tenderness shown to an infant.

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 woman hired to suckle a child of someone else
  • v. give suck to
  • n. a woman hired to suckle a child of someone else


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The wet nurse needed by little Mary, though doubtless the essential necessity of the time, would not add to the domestic comfort, especially to that of Miss Louisa Jones, a friend of Harriet Godwin, who had been installed to superintend Godwin's household.

    Mrs Shelley

  • Only men of gentry affected underdrawers, and women of every station suckled their young, leaving the civilized trade of wet nurse unknown.

    Cold Mountain

  • The doctor advised a wet nurse and suggested Mrs. Alonzo Prentiss — probably one of his patients — who had recently lost her baby in childbirth.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.