Meaning of abigail in English:


Pronunciation /ˈabɪɡeɪl/


  • A lady's maid.

    ‘Lady Protheroe sent her abigail ahead and took Croft's arm.’
    • ‘I was as close as a young lady might be to her abigail, but it did not help that I could not drag a coherent word out of her.’
    • ‘I have taken the liberty of retaining an abigail for you; I was surprised your father had not done so.’
    • ‘Two confused servants awaited him - confused and, in the abigail's case, upset.’
    • ‘He tried the stables for 133 horses, the kennels for 144 hounds, the attics for 144 abigails or footmen.’
    attendant, retainer


Mid 17th century from the name of a character in The Scornful Lady by Beaumont and Fletcher, possibly in allusion to 1 Sam. 25: 23–24: ‘And when Abigail saw David, she … fell at his feet, and said, “… hear the words of thine handmaid”.’.