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From Middle English maundee, maunde, from Old French mandée (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).



maundy (countable and uncountable, plural maundies)

  1. (obsolete) A commandment.
  2. (obsolete) The sacrament of the Lord's supper.
    • 1357, John Mandeville, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville[1]:
      And also they make their sacrament of the altar of Therf bread, for our Lord made it of such bread, when he made his Maundy.
  3. (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.
  4. (Christianity) The office appointed to be read during the religious ceremony of foot-washing.


  • (foot-washing ceremony): nipter

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