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[ah-mish, am-ish]
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  1. of or relating to any of the strict Mennonite groups, chiefly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada, descended from the followers of Jakob Ammann, a Swiss Mennonite bishop of the 17th century.
  1. the Amish people.

Origin of Amish

1835–45, Americanism; < German amisch, after Jakob Ammann; see -ish1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Self-sufficiency, reflecting contexts of existence of limited scale, marks the Amish and Mennonite families.

  • The skill that makes Aaron worth his fare out here, though, is an Amish skill, and the rarest one of all.

    Blind Man's Lantern

    Allen Kim Lang

  • Five years from spring, other Amish folk would come to homestead—what a barn-raising they'd have!

    Blind Man's Lantern

    Allen Kim Lang

  • Though American enough, maize had been a foreigner to the first Amish farmers, and still carried history in its name.

    Blind Man's Lantern

    Allen Kim Lang

  • Some time after attending this meeting I called upon an aged Amish man to converse with him upon their religious society, etc.

British Dictionary definitions for amish


  1. of or relating to a US and Canadian Mennonite sect that traces its origin to Jakob Amman
  1. the Amish the Amish people

Word Origin

C19: from German Amisch, after Jakob Amman, 17th-century Swiss Mennonite bishop
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

Word Origin and History for amish



1844, American English, from the name of Jacob Amman, 17c. Swiss Mennonite preacher who founded the sect. Originally spelled Omish, which reflects the pronunciation in Pennsylvania German dialect. As a noun, by 1884.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amish in Culture


[(ah-mish, am-ish, ay-mish)]

A group of Protestants who broke away from the Mennonites in the seventeenth century. The Amish live in close communities, farm for a living, and do without many modern conveniences, such as telephones, automobiles, and tractor-drawn plows.


Some of the Pennsylvania Dutch are Amish.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.