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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
valet parking
▪ Gaggia machines burbled on marble bars, new secretaries clicked across polished floors, uniformed valets twirled glass doors.
▪ He had lived in castles and palaces, and been attended by courtiers, soldiers and valets.
▪ Oh, for the days when valets could actually leave keys in cars -- and not lose them.
▪ The valet had gone down on his knees, his head pressed to the floor, his whole body visibly shaking.
▪ I had Cooper's respray the panel and valet the innards with hot steam.
▪ So here he was six months later valeting his clothes on a hot Sunday afternoon when any normal youth would be outside.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Valet \Val"et\ (?; 277), n. [F. valet, OF. vallet, varlet, vaslet. See Varlet, and Vassal.]

  1. A male waiting servant; a servant who attends on gentleman's person; a body servant.

  2. (Man.) A kind of goad or stick with a point of iron.

    Valet de chambre[F.], a body servant, or personal attendant.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"personal man-servant," mid-14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French valet, variant of vaslet "man's servant, workman's assistant," originally "squire, young man, youth of noble birth" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *vassellittus "young nobleman, squire, page," diminutive of Medieval Latin vassallus, from vassus "servant" (see vassal). Modern sense is usually short for valet de chambre; the general sense of "male household servant of the meaner sort" going with the variant form varlet. First recorded use of valet parking is from 1959.


n. 1 A man's personal male attendant, responsible for his clothes and appearance. 2 A hotel employee performing such duties for guests. 3 (''professional wrestling'') A female performer in professional wrestling, acting as either a manager or personal chaperone; often used to attract and titillate male members of the audience. 4 A female chaperone who accompanies a man, and is usually not married to him. 5 A person employed to clean or park cars. 6 A wooden stand on which to hold clothes and accessories in preparation for dressing. 7 A kind of goad or stick with an iron point. vb. (context transitive English) To clean and service (a car), as a valet does.


n. a manservant who acts as a personal attendant to his employer; "Jeeves was Bertie Wooster's man" [syn: valet de chambre, gentleman, gentleman's gentleman, man]


v. serve as a personal attendant to


Valet and varlet are terms for male servants who serve as personal attendants to their employer. In the Middle Ages and Ancien Régime, valet de chambre was a role for junior courtiers and specialists such as artists in a royal court, but the term "valet" by itself most often refers to a normal servant responsible for the clothes and personal belongings of an employer, and making minor arrangements.

In the United States, the term most often refers to a parking valet.

Usage examples of "valet".

Isabella and two for Joanna, a staff of esquires, clerks of pantry and butlery, chief cook, valets of larder and kitchen, valets de chambre, water- carriers, candle-bearers, porters, grooms, and other attendants.

Her old man does the valeting and butling, her ma cooks, and Elsie hands out the cap and apron dope.

He came to offer me the services of his young brother Petronio during my stay in Ancona, instead of my engaging a valet de place.

He returned in a short time, and the valet came in again with him without having been called.

At Naples he had cheated the Chevalier de Morosini by persuading him to become his surety to the extent of six thousand ducats, and now he arrived in Florence in a handsome carriage, bringing his mistress with him, and having two tall lackeys and a valet in his service.

Hotel Cosmopolis, Archie, looking about him and revising earlier judgments, was inclined to think that of all his immediate circle he most admired Parker, the lean, grave valet of Mr.

When I got up my landlord brought me a valet de place, for whose character he said he could answer, and he then sent up an excellent dinner.

I therefore did not want to have at my heels a valet who might have injured rather than served me.

The valet, who did not know me, shewed me into a delightful boudoir near a closet in which there was a bath.

He received me in his dressing-room, where he was writing while his valet did his hair.

The valet did my hair, and the maid did my room, everything was changed, and I imagined that I had given the count a little lesson, and that I should have no more trouble with him.

And they took their valets with them -- just to give their boots a rub Ere they started operations on the Geebung Polo Club.

He was a bright young Italian, who had been valet to the Prince de la Catolica, the ambassador from Naples.

I left him and addressing myself to a sharp Italian page said that I would give two ducats to the valet who would furnish me with the names of the Cologne ladies who were in Bonn, and of the gentlemen who had accompanied them.

The valet told us that these manuscripts contained the history of the last Prussian war, and the king had been so annoyed by their accidentally getting burnt that he had resolved to have no more to do with the work.