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[gran-muhth-er, grand-, gram-] /ˈgrænˌmʌð ər, ˈgrænd-, ˈgræm-/
the mother of one's father or mother.
a female ancestor.
Origin of grandmother
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at grand-, mother1
Can be confused
grammar, grandma, grandmother. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for grandmother
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They began at once to think of whom they should inquire,—of the teacher, or of the grandmother.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • The grandmother was really standing there, holding the fiddle out to him.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Not far from his grandmother's residence there was a windmill which operated on a new plan.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Why, when he was your age, his father was at war and papa and grandmother Wade had to do everything.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • He spoke exactly like his grandmother, who was indeed the only one he had to talk with.

British Dictionary definitions for grandmother


/ˈɡrænˌmʌðə; ˈɡrænd-/
the mother of one's father or mother
(often pl) a female ancestor
(often capital) a familiar term of address for an old woman
teach one's grandmother to suck eggs, See egg1 (sense 8)
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 grandmother

early 15c., from grand (adj.) + mother (n.1), probably on analogy of French grand-mère. Replaced earlier grandame (c.1200) and Old English ealdemodor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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