Inherited from Middle English maundee, borrowed from Middle French mandated, from Latin mandatum (“commandment”). Doublet of mandate. The word came to refer to the foot-washing ceremony performed on Thursday before Easter because of the phrase used by Jesus to explain his act of foot-washing, which in the Latin Vulgate begins: Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem ..., i.e. "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another …" (John 13:34).
- (obsolete) A commandment.
- (obsolete) The sacrament of the Lord's supper.
- (Christianity) The ceremony of washing the feet of poor persons or inferiors, performed as a religious rite on Maundy Thursday in commemoration of Christ's washing the disciples' feet at the Last Supper.
- (Christianity) The office appointed to be read during the religious ceremony of foot-washing.
- (foot-washing ceremony): nipter
- maundy in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.