Definition of amanuensis in US English:



  • A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.

    • ‘This correspondence reveals that after an unsuccessful effort to enlist Harriet Beecher Stowe as her amanuensis, she wrote her life herself.’
    • ‘Thus, he himself was the amanuensis and editor.’
    • ‘And we know he isn't joking because his faithful amanuensis, Dennis Shanahan, has reported it all in the newspaper.’
    • ‘In his final years he was blind and paralysed but was able to continue composing through the devoted assistance of Eric Fenby, his musical amanuensis.’
    • ‘Towards the end of 1638 a young pupil, Vincenzio Viviani, came to live and study with Galileo, serving him also as amanuensis.’
    • ‘Sauntering along the park and past the bingo, I reflect on the only fact I know about Dr Johnson's amanuensis, other than where he's buried.’
    • ‘Simson remained in good health until a few years before his death, during which period he had to employ an amanuensis to assist him in revising his geometrical writings.’
    • ‘During their short and turbulent life he became virtually their cinematic amanuensis, a process which culminated in his first feature film.’
    • ‘Thomas went to his grave regarding Eleanour as nothing more than a dear friend, useful as an unpaid secretary, the willing amanuensis who typed his manuscripts for him.’
    • ‘He was the amanuensis for the meetings of the general committee, the final meetings for which King James had been waiting impatiently.’
    • ‘Affectionate and needy, Thackeray had nurtured Anny's talents, and used her as his amanuensis.’
    • ‘Young men share their nostalgia for domestic life in these letters, while the female amanuensis momentarily becomes a soldier.’
    • ‘What I remember about her program notes between 1962 and the late 1970s, when Protas became Graham's shadowy amanuensis, is their poetic allusions and their deliberate omission of any stories.’
    • ‘After settling in Weimar he initially used the minor composers August Conradi and Raff as amanuenses and orchestration assistants, though later he acquired enough experience to dispense with any help.’
    • ‘Milton's blindness forced him to dictate to an amanuensis.’
    • ‘With his eloquent amanuensis Chen Boda at his elbow, he cast back to China's wartime experience for a solution.’
    • ‘Recent scholarship, however, has tended to the view that lecture notes and other extraneous material might have been included in the text, Kant being increasingly dependent on an amanuensis when transcribing his drafts.’
    • ‘Tolstoy's literary amanuensis, V.G. Chertkov, had emigrated to Britain the previous year.’
    • ‘His amanuensis, David Frum, is a different and much sadder case.’
    • ‘Silenced herself, she is reduced to the status of his amanuensis.’
    assistant, personal assistant, pa, administrator, clerk, clerical assistant, girl friday, man friday
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Early 17th century: Latin, from (servus) a manu ‘(slave) at hand(writing), secretary’ + -ensis ‘belonging to’.