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(in India) a native maid or nurse.
Contemporary Examples

ayah Abu Basheer is a lecturer at the Islamic University in Gaza City.
Still Not Rebuilt From Last Time Anna Lekas Miller November 16, 2012

Historical Examples

Her remark had followed the ayah’s explanation of her appearance with the child.
Banked Fires E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

ayah and little Fay were in the nursery across the passage, where there was a fire.
Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker

And the ayah, who could hold no Christian communication with anybody around her, was worse than useless to her poor mistress.
Madonna Mary Mrs. Oliphant

As I have told you, she was his ayah, and has behaved most nobly.
At the Point of the Bayonet G. A. Henty

The ayah was dead, and I who tell this tale was alone with a corpse in the encircling atmosphere!
Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 108, March 2nd 1895 Various

In that case, the ayah, the housemaid is of more consequence than you.
Phoebe, Junior Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

When Colonel Darling returned from parade the ayah was gone from the passage-way outside his wife’s room.
The Tigress Anne Warner

Her ayah and Rosie were soon resplendent in her gift of new sarees.
A Bottle in the Smoke Milne Rae

The ayah had been taken ill in the night, and it was because she had just died that the servants had wailed in the huts.
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett

(in the East, Africa, and other parts of the former British Empire) a maidservant, nursemaid, or governess, esp one of Indian or Malay origin Compare amah

“native nurse, children’s governess,” Anglo-Indian, 1782, from Portuguese aia, cognate with Spanish aya, Italian aja, etc., “nurse,” from Latin avia “grandmother,” fem. of avus “grandfather” (see uncle).


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