Definition of amanuensis
: one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript composed her autobiography with the help of an amanuensis
Examples of amanuensis in a Sentence
thanks to the efforts of his dutiful amanuensis, copies of most of the author's letters and unpublished manuscripts have been preserved
Recent Examples of amanuensis from the Web
The book's amanuensis was an erratic 19th century genius named Ignatius Donnelly.
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The etymology of amanuensis
In Latin, the phrase servus a manu translates loosely as "slave with secretarial duties." (The noun manu, meaning "hand," gave us words such as manuscript, originally meaning a document written or typed by hand.) In the 17th century the second part of this phrase was borrowed into English to create amanuensis, a word for a person who is employed (willingly) to do the important but sometimes menial work of transcribing the words of another. While other quaint words, such as scribe or scrivener, might have similarly described the functions of such a person in the past, these days we’re likely to call him or her a secretary, or maybe an administrative assistant.
Origin and Etymology of amanuensis
Latin, from (servus) a manu slave with secretarial duties
First Known Use: 1619See Words from the same year
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