ayah

[ah-yuh]

noun

(in India) a native maid or nurse.

Origin of ayah

1775–85; < Hindi āyā < Portuguese aia maidservant < Latin avia grandmother, equivalent to av(us) grandfather + -ia feminine suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ayah

governess, baby-sitter

Examples from the Web for ayah

Contemporary Examples of ayah

Historical Examples of ayah

  • They had been happy, Ayah said, with the kind lady and her children.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Ayah might not be exactly beautiful, but she was harmonious.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Ayah and little Fay were in the nursery across the passage, where there was a fire.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Since the night of Ayah's departure there had not been such a scene.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • To the right you may observe an Ayah spoiling some young Britons.


British Dictionary definitions for ayah

ayah

noun

(in the East, Africa, and other parts of the former British Empire) a maidservant, nursemaid, or governess, esp one of Indian or Malay originCompare amah

Word Origin for ayah

C18: from Hindi āyā, from Portuguese aia, from Latin avia grandmother
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 ayah
n.

"native nurse, children's governess," Anglo-Indian, 1782, from Portuguese aia, cognate with Spanish aya, Italian aja, etc., "nurse," from Latin avia "grandmother," fem. of avus "grandfather" (see uncle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper