noun, plural gran·nies.

  1. Informal. a grandmother.
  2. an elderly woman.
  3. a fussy person.
  4. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a nurse or midwife.
  5. granny knot.

adjective, gran·ni·er, gran·ni·est for 6.

  1. of, relating to, or thought to be like a grandmother or an elderly or old-fashioned woman: granny notions about what’s proper.
  2. (of clothing for women or girls) being loose-fitted and having such features as high necklines, puff sleeves, long skirts, and ruffles and lace trimmings: a granny blouse; a granny nightgown.

noun plural -nies

  1. informal words for grandmother
  2. informal an irritatingly fussy person
  3. a revolving cap on a chimneypot that keeps out rain, etc
  4. Southern US a midwife or nurse
  5. See granny knot

1660s, according to OED, most likely a diminutive and contraction of grannam, shortened form of grandame, rather than from grandmother. The sailor’s granny knot (by 1803, originally granny’s knot, so called because “it is the natural knot tied by women or landsmen” [Smyth, “Sailor’s Word-Book,” 1867]. Granny Smith apples (1895) named for Maria Ann Smith (d.1870) of Australia, who originated them.

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