Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[ah-muh, am-uh] /ˈɑ mə, ˈæm ə/
noun, (in India and the Far East)
a baby's nurse, especially a wet nurse.
a female servant; maid.
Origin of amah
1830-40; < Portuguese ama nurse, governess < Medieval Latin amma wet nurse, perhaps alteration of Latin mamma breast Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for amah
Historical Examples
  • Then he makes up his mind the best thing is to leave Daisy with the amah.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • I told you I wouldn't have your disgusting pipe in here, amah.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • It's very convenient that you should always be within earshot when you're wanted, amah.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • I've never seen anyone let an amah behave as you let her behave.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • The amah complained that the roof leaked and I came to see for myself.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • It was very easy for him to get into the room after amah and I went away.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
  • The other day our amah told Leonard and me to chatter our teeth three times and blow.

    Peeps Into China E. C. Phillips
  • The amah shouldered the steaming buckets and splashed across the bare boards of the ancestral hall beyond.

  • Calling her amah, she directed her to fetch two rolls of silk, each worth about forty dollars, and with them she cooked the rice.


    Sir Henry Arthur Blake
  • The amah, having finished her devotions, stands at the doorway looking out steadily.

    East of Suez William Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for amah


/ˈɑːmə; ˈæmə/
(in the East, esp formerly) a nurse or maidservant, esp one of Chinese origin Compare ayah
Word Origin
C19: from Portuguese ama nurse, wet nurse
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for amah

"wet-nurse," 1839, Anglo-Indian, from Portuguese ama "nurse," from Medieval Latin amma "mother," from PIE root *am-, forming nursery words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for amah

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for amah

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for amah