- the sister of one's father or mother.
- the wife of one's uncle.
- Chiefly New England and South Midland U.S.. (used as a term of respectful address to an older woman who is not related to the speaker).
- Slang. an aging male homosexual.
Origin of aunt
The [a] /æ/ pronunciation of aunt was brought to America before British English developed the [ah] /ɑ/ in such words as aunt, dance, and laugh. In American English, [ah] /ɑ/ is most common in the areas that maintained the closest cultural ties with England after the [ah] /ɑ/ pronunciation developed there in these words.
Examples from the Web for aunt
Sure, your cubicle mate, neighbor, and aunt all own a Fitbit or JawBone fitness tracker.Nothing Says I Love You Like Data
The Daily Beast
December 8, 2014
Melchior is the forerunner of the aunt who always gave me socks.Keep Christmas Commercialized!
P. J. O’Rourke
December 6, 2014
And there, the sand castle builder and tag player who loved her aunt more than science would be buried.11 Children Shot in Milwaukee, One in Her Grandpa's Lap
November 12, 2014
When Juana was 8, her father abandoned the family and the girl moved to Mexico City to live with her aunt.Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun
November 8, 2014
Her eyes lit up as she saw her uncle and aunt, there to welcome her back into the real world.‘Her Survival Was a Miracle’: The 6-Year-Old Who Beat Ebola
Wade C.L. Williams
October 23, 2014
I shall be staying with Aunt Cornelia a few days after to-morrow.
Tell Aunt Cornelia, please, that I shall be along in just a moment.
It's funny—that's exactly what I told Aunt Cornelia about that—that man.
His aunt, the Duchess of Savoy, is a merry dame, and a wise!The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Aunt Jane approached a degree nearer the equator, and said, gently, "I fear I do."Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
- a sister of one's father or mother
- the wife of one's uncle
- a term of address used by children for any woman, esp for a friend of the parents
- my aunt! or my sainted aunt! an exclamation of surprise or amazement
Word Origin and History for aunt
c.1300, from Anglo-French aunte, Old French ante (Modern French tante, from a 13c. variant), from Latin amita "paternal aunt" diminutive of *amma a baby-talk word for "mother" (cf. Greek amma "mother," Old Norse amma "grandmother," Middle Irish ammait "old hag," Hebrew em, Arabic umm "mother").
Extended senses include "an old woman, a gossip" (1580s); "a procuress" (1670s); and "any benevolent woman," in American English, where auntie was recorded since c.1790 as "a term often used in accosting elderly women." The French word also has become the word for "aunt" in Dutch, German (Tante), and Danish. Swedish has retained the original Germanic (and Indo-European) custom of distinguishing aunts by separate terms derived from "father's sister" (faster) and "mother's sister" (moster). The Old English equivalents were faðu and modrige. In Latin, too, the formal word for "aunt on mother's side" was matertera. Some languages have a separate term for aunts-in-law as opposed to blood relations.