amah

[ah-muh, am-uh]

Origin of amah

1830–40; < Portuguese ama nurse, governess < Medieval Latin amma wet nurse, perhaps alteration of Latin mamma breast
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amah

Historical Examples of amah

  • 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

  • It's very convenient that you should always be within earshot when you're wanted, amah.

    East of Suez

    William Somerset Maugham

  • I've never seen anyone let an amah behave as you let her behave.

    East of Suez

    William Somerset Maugham

  • The amah complained that the roof leaked and I came to see for myself.

    East of Suez

    William Somerset Maugham


British Dictionary definitions for amah

amah

noun
  1. (in the East, esp formerly) a nurse or maidservant, esp one of Chinese originCompare ayah

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for amah
n.

"wet-nurse," 1839, Anglo-Indian, from Portuguese ama "nurse," from Medieval Latin amma "mother," from PIE root *am-, forming nursery words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper