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Origin of maid

1150–1200; Middle English; apocopated variant of maiden
Related formsmaid·ish, adjectivemaid·ish·ness, nounsub·maid, nounun·der·maid, noun
Can be confusedmade maid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maid

Contemporary Examples of maid

Historical Examples of maid

  • The face of the maid that served him had been no heaven for the souls of dead flowers.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Why he neglected to include the way of a maid with a man is not at once apparent.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Miss Briggs, the maid, sir—but she's just ready to go out, sir.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • While he was thus raging a knock came to the door, and a maid entered.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Only the maid answered the ringing of the telephone, and his notes were seemingly unheeded.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for maid


  1. archaic, or literary a young unmarried girl; maiden
    1. a female servant
    2. (in combination)a housemaid
  2. a spinster
Derived Formsmaidish, adjectivemaidishness, noun

Word Origin for maid

C12: shortened form of maiden
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for maid

late 12c., "a virgin, a young unmarried woman," shortening of maiden (n.). Like that word, used in Middle English of unmarried men as well as women (cf. maiden-man, c.1200, used of both sexes, reflecting also the generic use of man). Domestic help sense is from c.1300. In reference to Joan of Arc, attested from 1540s (cf. French la Pucelle). Maid Marian, one of Robin Hood's companions, first recorded 1520s, perhaps from French, where Robin et Marian have been stock names for country lovers since 13c. Maid of Honor (1580s) originally was "unmarried lady of noble birth who attends a queen or princess;" meaning "principal bridesmaid" is attested from 1895. Maydelond (translating Latin terra feminarum) was "the land of the Amazons."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper