Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[nan-ee] /ˈnæn i/
noun, plural nannies.
a person, usually with special training, employed to care for children in a household.
Origin of nanny
1785-95; nursery word; compare Welsh nain grandmother, Greek nánna aunt, Russian nyánya nursemaid


[nan-ee] /ˈnæn i/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for nanny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "This would be truly a vain wish, dear nanny, in the mixed company of a ship," she said.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • That the letter was read, nanny, who is truth itself, affirms she saw.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • I was heedless of this command, and answered her by saying: 'What are you doing here, nanny?'

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • So nanny and I repaired to the tree in question, and nanny mounted into the tree.

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • I would like to have one like it for our nanny (meaning his wife).

    The Shellback's Progress Walter Runciman
British Dictionary definitions for nanny


noun (pl) -nies
a nurse or nursemaid for children
  1. any person or thing regarded as treating people like children, esp by being patronizing or overprotective
  2. (as modifier): the nanny state
a child's word for grandmother
verb nannies, nannying, nannied
(intransitive) to nurse or look after someone else's children
(transitive) to be overprotective towards
Word Origin
C19: child's name for a 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 nanny

"children's nurse," 1795, from widespread child's word for "female adult other than mother" (cf. Greek nanna "aunt"). The word also is a nickname form of the fem. proper name Ann, which probably is the sense in nanny goat (1788, cf. billy goat). Nanny-house "brothel" is slang from c.1700. Nanny state, in reference to overintrusive government policies is attested by 1987, the term associated with British political leader Margaret Thatcher, who criticized the tendency.


"to be unduly protective," 1954, from nanny (n.). Related: Nannied; nannying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for nanny


Related Terms

get someone's goat

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for nanny

Word Value for nanny

Scrabble Words With Friends