[chahr-woo m-uh n]

noun, plural char·wom·en.

a woman hired to do general cleaning, especially in an office or large house.

Origin of charwoman

First recorded in 1590–1600; char3 + woman Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for charwoman

Historical Examples of charwoman

  • I fixed at last on a charwoman who was about sixty years old.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The charwoman was cleaning the kitchen and now she's out in the hall.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

  • On that particular evening, at about nine o'clock, the charwoman came in.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • It was his charwoman, who, as a rule, came only for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • He went off at the heels of the charwoman, and only returned a quarter of an hour afterwards.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for charwoman


noun plural -women

British a woman who is hired to clean, tidy, etc, in a house or office
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 charwoman

1590s, from Middle English char, cherre "turn of work" (see chore) + woman. An Alicia Charwoman appears in the Borough of Nottingham records in 1379.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper