Definition of amah in English:



  • A nursemaid or maid in East Asia or India.

    • ‘Recent news reports have detailed abusive treatment of these amahs by some employers.’
    • ‘Often, they are negatively compared with a nostalgic image of the humble and loyal Chinese amah of the past.’
    • ‘She had been a perfect amah and servant since her employment there began only a few years before.’
    • ‘I think of telling him that I would divorce the wife, send the kids to an orphanage, fire the amah, sell the apartment, and rent a flat in Sheung Wan.’
    • ‘These women have been called the first generation of feminists in modern China, and they worked as amahs in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.’
    attendant, retainer
    View synonyms


From Portuguese ama ‘nurse’.