[ ah-muh, am-uh ]

noun(in India and East Asia)
  1. a baby's nurse, especially a wet nurse.

  2. a female servant; maid.

Origin of amah

First recorded in 1830–40; from Portuguese ama “nurse, governess” from Medieval Latin amma “wet nurse,” perhaps alteration of Latin mamma “breast”

Words Nearby amah Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use amah in a sentence

  • "I was talking with my amah—she is the girl who cares for our children," said Mrs. Worley.

  • To be sure, he slept a great deal, or the amah would have been obliged to hand him over to a younger woman.

    The Little Girl Lost | Eleanor Raper
  • Their voices and the answers of the serving amah filled the kitchen with noise.

  • Then he makes up his mind the best thing is to leave Daisy with the amah.

    East of Suez | William Somerset Maugham
  • I told you I wouldn't have your disgusting pipe in here, amah.

    East of Suez | William Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for amah


/ (ˈɑːmə, ˈæmə) /

  1. (in the East, esp formerly) a nurse or maidservant, esp one of Chinese origin: Compare ayah

Origin of amah

C19: from Portuguese ama nurse, wet 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