From Middle Dutch suster, from Old Dutch swester, from Proto-Germanic *swestēr, from Proto-Indo-European *swésōr. The sense “nurse” developed around 1900 due to nuns' activity in institutional care, especially from the mid nineteenth century until the mid twentieth century.
- (somewhat formal) sister (female sibling)
- Synonym: zus
- sister (fictive female kin member)
- sister (nun)
- Synonym: non
- (female) nurse (woman who provides care for the ill)
- (female medical nurse): Zuster generally is not used anymore as a job title in medical organisations, where verpleegkundige, verpleger or verpleegster (the latter specifically for women) are the usual titles. It remains a common term in everyday language, however.