follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

wet nurse

noun
1.
a woman hired to suckle another's infant.
Origin of wet nurse
1610-1620
1610-20

wet-nurse

[wet-nurs] /ˈwɛtˌnɜrs/
verb (used with object), wet-nursed, wet-nursing.
1.
to act as a wet nurse to (an infant).
2.
to give excessive care or attention to; treat as if helpless:
The warden is accused of wet-nursing his prisoners.
Origin
1775-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for wet-nurse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nounou—a wet-nurse with a pretty ribboned cap and long streamers.

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • She wished they were larger though, and dreamed of having breasts like a wet-nurse.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The office of wet-nurse you duly fulfilled, but I shall now look out for another attendant for the boy.

    The Sisters, Complete Georg Ebers
  • The choosing of a wet-nurse is a matter of great moment and responsibility.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
  • Shelley needed excuses for his altered attitude toward his wife; Providence pitied him and sent the wet-nurse.

    In Defense of Harriet Shelley Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • "Well, I'm damned," said the wet-nurse And went out, looking thoughtful.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • When he spoke it was with a slight stutter, a trick of speech which he declared he had inherited from his wet-nurse.

  • Of course the reader recognises in her the wet-nurse who had exchanged her child.

    Peter Simple Frederick Marryat
  • She had found it so sick at the house of the wet-nurse that morning that she had brought it back with her to Paris.

British Dictionary definitions for wet-nurse

wet nurse

noun
1.
a woman hired to suckle the child of another
verb (transitive)
2.
to act as a wet nurse to (a child)
3.
(informal) to attend with great devotion
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
Cite This Source
wet-nurse in Medicine

wet nurse n.
A woman employed to breast-feed a child that is not her own.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for wet nurse

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for wet

6
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for wet-nurse