noun, plural a·man·u·en·ses [uh-man-yoo-en-seez] /əˌmæn yuˈɛn siz/.

a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another; secretary.

Origin of amanuensis

1610–20; < Latin (servus) āmanuēnsis, equivalent to ā- a-4 + manu-, stem of manus hand + -ēnsis -ensis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amanuensis

Contemporary Examples of amanuensis

Historical Examples of amanuensis

  • For heaven's sake let us know, pray, pray let us know who was Lincoln's amanuensis?

  • Perhaps he lectured and the amanuensis took down what he said.



  • To Louise was consigned the office of librarian; to Petrea that of amanuensis.

    The Home

    Fredrika Bremer

  • If so, what is he but their amanuensis—the recorder of their decrees?

    The Story of My Life

    Egerton Ryerson

  • And there had been no more attempts to write letters by way of an amanuensis.

    Red Pepper Burns

    Grace S. Richmond

British Dictionary definitions for amanuensis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)

a person employed to take dictation or to copy manuscripts

Word Origin for amanuensis

C17: from Latin āmanuensis, from the phrase servus ā manū slave at hand (that is, handwriting)
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 amanuensis

"one who takes dictation," 1610s, from Latin amanuensis "adjective used as a noun," from servus a manu "secretary," literally "servant from the hand," from a "from" + manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper