I. noun Etymology: Middle English wenche, short for wenchel child, from Old English wencel; akin to Old High German wankōn to totter, waver and probably to Old High German winchan to stagger — more at wink Date: 14th century 1. a. a young woman ; girl b. a female servant 2. a lewd woman ; prostitute II. intransitive verb Date: 1590 to consort with lewd women; especially to practice fornication • wencher noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wench — (w[e^]nch), n. [OE. wenche, for older wenchel a child, originally, weak, tottering; cf. AS. wencle a maid, a daughter, wencel a pupil, orphan, wincel, winclu, children, offspring, wencel weak, wancol unstable, OHG. wanchol; perhaps akin to E.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wench´er — wench «wehnch», noun, verb. –n. 1. a girl or young woman. 2. a) a woman servant: »a kitchen wench. b) any girl considered as belonging to the class of workers or peasants: »a buxom country wench. 3. Archaic. a wanton woman. –v.i. to seek out and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wench — [wench] n. [ME wenche, contr. < wenchel, child, boy, girl, young woman < OE wencel, a child, akin to wancol, unsteady (? in reference to an infant s gait): for IE base see WINCH] 1. a girl or young woman: now a derogatory or jocular term 2 …   English World dictionary

  • Wench — (w[e^]nch), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Wenched} (w[e^]ncht); p. pr. & vb. n. {Wenching}.] To frequent the company of wenches, or women of ill fame. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wench — wench·er; wench; …   English syllables

  • wench — [wentʃ] n [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: wenchel child (11 14 centuries), from Old English wencel] old use a girl or young woman, especially a servant …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wench — [ wentʃ ] noun count 1. ) an old word for a young woman, often a servant a ) an old word for a woman who is a prostitute (=someone who has sex for money) 2. ) an offensive or humorous word for a woman …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wench — late 13c., wenche girl or young woman, shortened from wenchel child (12c.), from O.E. wencel, probably related to wancol unsteady, fickle, weak, and cognate with O.N. vakr child, weak person, O.H.G. wanchal fickle. The word degenerated through… …   Etymology dictionary

  • wench — ► NOUN archaic or humorous ▪ a girl or young woman. ORIGIN abbreviation of obsolete wenchel «child, servant, prostitute» …   English terms dictionary

  • wench —    This old fashioned word for a girl or woman would probably only be used jokingly in modern times, though from the sixteenth century it was commonly used as an endearment to a man’s wife, daughter, or sweetheart.    In the Shakespeare plays… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • wench — wencher, n. /wench/, n. 1. a country lass or working girl: The milkmaid was a healthy wench. 2. Usually facetious. a girl or young woman. 3. Archaic. a strumpet. v.i. 4. to associate, esp. habitually, with promiscuous women. [1250 1300; ME, back… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”