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From Middle English aunte, from Anglo-Norman aunte, from Old French ante, from Latin amita (father's sister). Displaced native Middle English modrie (aunt) (from Old English mōdriġe (maternal aunt); compare Old English faþu, faþe (paternal aunt)).



aunt (plural aunts)

  1. The sister or sister-in-law of one’s parent.
    • 1923, P.G. Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves:
      As a rule, you see, I'm not lugged into Family Rows. On the occasions when Aunt is calling to Aunt like mastodons bellowing across primeval swamps and Uncle James's letter about Cousin Mabel's peculiar behaviour is being shot round the family circle... the clan has a tendency to ignore me.
  2. The female cousin or cousin-in-law of one’s parent.
  3. (endearing) A woman of an older generation than oneself, especially a friend of one's parents, by means of fictive kin.
  4. (obsolete) Any elderly woman.
  5. (obsolete) A procuress or bawd.
    • c. 1605 (first performance; published 1608), Thomas Middleton, “A Trick to Catch the Old One”, in A[rthur] H[enry] Bullen, editor, The Works of Thomas Middleton [] (The English Dramatists), volume II, London: John C. Nimmo [], published 1885, →OCLC, Act II, scene ii, page 267:
      I saw neither hope of his reclaiming, nor comfort in his being; and was it not then better bestowed upon his uncle than upon one of his aunts?—I need not say bawd, for every one knows what aunt stands for in the last translation.





Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Hawaiian: ʻanakē
  • Irish: aint
  • Pennsylvania German: Aent
  • Yoruba: àǹtí


Several languages distinguish between blood aunts (one's parent's sister) and in-law aunts (one's parent's sister-in-law), some distinguish between paternal and maternal aunts, and some distinguish between one's parent's older siblings and younger siblings.

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Dialect Survey of US pronunciations

Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of aunte