1. A young woman; a girl; a maiden. "Lord and lady, groom and wench." (Chaucer) "That they may send again My most sweet wench, and gifts to boot." (Chapman) "He was received by the daughter of the house, a pretty, buxom, blue-eyed little wench." (W. Black)

2. A low, vicious young woman; a drab; a strumpet. "She shall be called his wench or his leman." (Chaucer) "It is not a digression to talk of bawds in a discourse upon wenches." (Spectator)

3. A coloured woman; a negress.

Origin: 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. Wink. See Wink.

(01 Mar 1998)

welt, welter, welwitschia, wem, wen < Prev | Next > Wenckebach block, Wenckebach, Karel

Bookmark with: icon icon icon icon iconword visualiser Go and visit our forums Community Forums