A young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board.
More example sentences
- As more women have sought full-time careers, various alternative forms of domestic assistance have developed, consisting of armies of contract cleaners, childminders, nannies and au pairs.
- In other cases, women answered advertisements by foreign tour operators or employment agencies looking for au pairs, models, housekeepers and waitresses.
- Every woman boss depends on au pairs, nannies, cleaners, cooks and women who do the ironing.
late 19th century: from French, literally 'on equal terms'. The phrase was originally adjectival, describing an arrangement between two parties paid for by the exchange of mutual services; the noun usage dates from the 1960s.