mam·​my | \ ˈma-mē How to pronounce mammy (audio) \
plural mammies

Definition of mammy

1 : mama
2 offensive : a Black woman serving as a nurse to white children especially formerly in the southern U.S.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for mammy


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of mammy in a Sentence

the toddler clung to her mammy and eyed the strangers fearfully
Recent Examples on the Web One example given is the Aunt Jemima brand and logo, a depiction of an older Black woman based on the archetype of a mammy. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 1 Mar. 2021 The song features a mammy, a racial stereotype of the Black female caretaker figure devoted to her white family. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 30 June 2020 No human being deserves to be in a cage, but this notion that Black women must play mammy and Moses for the world is killing us, while police officers with licenses to kill are murdering our children. Kirsten West Savali, Essence, 3 Oct. 2019 Saar enlarged the slave ship image, printed it onto the surface of the ironing board, and at one end superimposed the image of a black woman ironing, dressed stereotypically as a mammy. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2019 But what complicates Hildi is the history of how black women, and especially slaves, have been treated in real life (raped, beaten) and depicted onscreen (as mammies or Jezebels). Aisha Harris, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2019 The Help in 2011, doesn’t seem to get that Ma operates as a black-mammy stereotype. Armond White, National Review, 7 June 2019 Violent, upsetting and misleading grindhouse documentaries designed to repulse our moral sense and send us home shaken, primed to become good Catholic child soldiers who would protect defenceless wee babbies from their own mammies. Graham Linehan, Time, 25 May 2018 The sculpture is forty tons of sugar molded into a ghostly white apparition, part mammy, part sphinx. Longreads, 28 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mammy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mammy

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mammy

alteration of mamma

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About mammy

Dictionary Entries Near mammy



mammy chair

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for mammy

Cite this Entry

“Mammy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!