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[wet-nurs] /ˈwɛtˌnɜrs/
verb (used with object), wet-nursed, wet-nursing.
to act as a wet nurse to (an infant).
to give excessive care or attention to; treat as if helpless:
The warden is accused of wet-nursing his prisoners.
Origin of wet-nurse
First recorded in 1775-85

wet nurse

a woman hired to suckle another's infant.
First recorded in 1610-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wet-nurse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She wished they were larger though, and dreamed of having breasts like a wet-nurse.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The choosing of a wet-nurse is a matter of great moment and responsibility.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
  • There was no wet-nurse to be had, but a woman from the village had been sent for.

    The Wonder J. D. Beresford
  • "Well, I'm damned," said the wet-nurse And went out, looking thoughtful.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • I didn't engage to wet-nurse its infants with bank accounts.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • Of course the reader recognises in her the wet-nurse who had exchanged her child.

    Peter Simple Frederick Marryat
  • The whole household were immediately sent in quest of a wet-nurse.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • It cannot be learned whether when he was staying with the wet-nurse he ever had convulsions.

    Pedagogical Anthropology Maria Montessori
  • She was to be his wet-nurse, and to assume the whole charge of the infant.

    Molly and Kitty Olga Eschenbach
British Dictionary definitions for wet-nurse

wet nurse

a woman hired to suckle the child of another
verb (transitive)
to act as a wet nurse to (a child)
(informal) to attend with great devotion
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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wet-nurse in Medicine

wet nurse n.
A woman employed to breast-feed a child that is not her own.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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