noun, plural nan·nies.

  1. a person, usually with special training, employed to care for children in a household.


  1. a female given name.

noun plural -nies

  1. a nurse or nursemaid for children
    1. any person or thing regarded as treating people like children, esp by being patronizing or overprotective
    2. (as modifier)the nanny state
  2. a child’s word for grandmother

verb nannies, nannying or nannied

  1. (intr) to nurse or look after someone else’s children
  2. (tr) to be overprotective towards

n.“children’s nurse,” 1795, from widespread child’s word for “female adult other than mother” (cf. Greek nanna “aunt”). The word also is a nickname form of the fem. proper name Ann, which probably is the sense in nanny goat (1788, cf. billy goat). Nanny-house “brothel” is slang from c.1700. Nanny state, in reference to overintrusive government policies is attested by 1987, the term associated with British political leader Margaret Thatcher, who criticized the tendency. v.“to be unduly protective,” 1954, from nanny (n.). Related: Nannied; nannying.

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