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ayah

[ah-yuh]
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noun
  1. (in India) a native maid or nurse.
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Origin of ayah

1775–85; < Hindi āyā < Portuguese aia maidservant < Latin avia grandmother, equivalent to av(us) grandfather + -ia feminine suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ayah

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They had been happy, Ayah said, with the kind lady and her children.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Ayah and little Fay were in the nursery across the passage, where there was a fire.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Ayah might not be exactly beautiful, but she was harmonious.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Since the night of Ayah's departure there had not been such a scene.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • To the right you may observe an Ayah spoiling some young Britons.


British Dictionary definitions for ayah

ayah

noun
  1. (in the East, Africa, and other parts of the former British Empire) a maidservant, nursemaid, or governess, esp one of Indian or Malay originCompare amah
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Word Origin

C18: from Hindi āyā, from Portuguese aia, from Latin avia grandmother
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 ayah

n.

"native nurse, children's governess," Anglo-Indian, 1782, from Portuguese aia, cognate with Spanish aya, Italian aja, etc., "nurse," from Latin avia "grandmother," fem. of avus "grandfather" (see uncle).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper