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abigail

[ab-i-geyl] /ˈæb ɪˌgeɪl/
noun
1.
a lady's maid.
Origin of abigail
1645-1655
1645-55; after Abigail, name of attendant in play The Scornful Lady (1610), by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Abigail

[ab-i-geyl] /ˈæb ɪˌgeɪl/
noun
1.
the wife of Nabal and later of David. I Sam. 25.
2.
a female given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “joy of the father.”.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abigail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The finer feminine instinct of abigail led her to interpose.

  • Meanwhile, Miss abigail had descended the stairs to the sitting room.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Similarly, she indulged a mettlesome fancy for referring to her hostess as "dear abigail."

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • abigail, to save her husband and his property, hastens to the foot of the hill.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • The stories of Deborah and abigail are very apt to discourage a woman's soul.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
British Dictionary definitions for abigail

Abigail

/ˈæbɪˌɡeɪl/
noun
1.
(Old Testament) the woman who brought provisions to David and his followers and subsequently became his wife (I Samuel 25:1–42)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abigail

Abigail

fem. proper name, in Old Testament, Abigail the Carmelitess, a wife of David, from Hebrew Abhigayil, literally "my father is rejoicing," from abh "father" + gil "to rejoice." Used in general sense of "lady's maid" (1660s) from character of that name in Beaumont & Fletcher's "The Scornful Lady." The waiting maid association perhaps begins with I Sam. xxv, where David's wife often calls herself a "handmaid." Her male counterpart was Andrew.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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