verb (used with object), dry-nursed, dry-nurs·ing.

to act as a dry nurse to.

Origin of dry-nurse

First recorded in 1575–85

dry nurse


a nurse who takes care of but does not breast-feed another's infant.Compare wet nurse.
Informal. a person who tutors and guides an inexperienced person at work.

Origin of dry nurse

First recorded in 1590–1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dry-nurse

Historical Examples of dry-nurse

  • Keep the nurse here as dry-nurse so that she may not carry the infection elsewhere.

  • You are doomed to dry-nurse Martin for life, whether he wants you or no.

    An Unknown Lover

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

  • “He appears to be a kind of dry-nurse to you,” said the judge, rising.

    Jupiter Lights

    Constance Fenimore Woolson

  • I am not going to dry-nurse a girl at the age of fifty-four.

    Emily Fox-Seton

    Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • At last, however, she relented, and concluded to remain on earth as dry-nurse to Mr. Bassett.

British Dictionary definitions for dry-nurse

dry nurse


a nurse who cares for a child without suckling itCompare wet nurse

verb dry-nurse

to care for (a baby or young child) without suckling
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

dry-nurse in Medicine

dry nurse


A nurse employed to care for but not breast-feed an infant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.