from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A private secretary or other close attendant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a close attendant

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A servant or assistant; especially, formerly, the private servant of a scholar; by extension, a private secretary or amanuensis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a close attendant (as to a scholar)


German, from Latin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin famulus. (Wiktionary)



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  • Wagner is Dr. Faust's famulus or laboratory assistant in Goethe's Faust.

    April 25, 2013

  • For two days the painter led us through naves and cloisters hidden behind decorated façades like silver plates now blackened and worn. Wrinkled, limping famuli accompanied us.
    --Umberto Eco, 1988, Foucault's Pendulum, p. 173

    October 1, 2008