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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


[drahy-nurs] /ˈdraɪˌnɜrs/
verb (used with object), dry-nursed, dry-nursing.
to act as a dry nurse to.
1575-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dry nurse
Historical Examples
  • What would become of you, I wonder, if I wasn't to take you in to dry nurse?

    Varney the Vampire Thomas Preskett Prest
  • A dry nurse must be found at once, a nurse competent to take every precaution and give the child every chance.

    Damaged Goods Upton Sinclair
  • My own cat actually imposes the duties of dry nurse on my Newfoundland, Theodore Nero.

    Cats W. Gordon Stables
  • She acted, I believe, as dry nurse to the distinguished Colonel of sepoys, my uncle.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Since when have you come to the conclusion that I need a dry nurse?

    Red Money Fergus Hume
  • After the child had been weaned it was fed by the dry nurse and the mother with pap, made chiefly of honey.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • You will dry nurse him till some day he is able to understand you.

    Letters of Two Brides Honore de Balzac
  • You'll be a dry nurse to a burro, and keep a hospital for infirm puppies, but you will fight game cocks.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • Nothing could be more amusing than the solemnity with which the youngster performs his function of dry nurse.

British Dictionary definitions for dry nurse

dry nurse

a nurse who cares for a child without suckling it Compare wet 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
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dry nurse in Medicine

dry nurse n.
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.
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