Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

maiden

[meyd-n]
See more synonyms for maiden on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a girl or young unmarried woman; maid.
  2. a horse that has never won a race.
  3. a race open only to maiden horses.
  4. an instrument resembling the guillotine, formerly used in Scotland for beheading criminals.
  5. Cricket. maiden over.
Show More
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or befitting a girl or unmarried woman.
  2. (of a woman) unmarried: my maiden aunt.
  3. made, tried, appearing, etc., for the first time: a maiden flight.
  4. virgin.
  5. (of a horse) never having won a race or a prize.
  6. (of a prize or a race) offered for or open only to maiden horses.
  7. untried, as a knight, soldier, or weapon.
Show More

Origin of maiden

before 1000; Middle English; Old English mægden, equivalent to mægd, mæg(e)th (cognate with German Magd, Gothic magaths) + -en -en5
Related formsmaid·en·ish, adjectivemaid·en·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maiden

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In low and soothing tones, the maiden inquired, "Where did we go, Paralus?"

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • "But in a maiden it would be less seemly," answered Philothea.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • "Dearest Philothea, I scarcely know his countenance," replied the maiden.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • "I am Eudora, the adopted daughter of Phidias," rejoined the maiden.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • His mother's maiden name was Cordes, and she also was of French extraction.


British Dictionary definitions for maiden

maiden

noun
  1. archaic, or literary
    1. a young unmarried girl, esp when a virgin
    2. (as modifier)a maiden blush
  2. horse racing
    1. a horse that has never won a race
    2. (as modifier)a maiden race
  3. cricket See maiden over
  4. Also called: clothes maiden Northern English dialect a frame on which clothes are hung to dry; clothes horse
  5. (modifier) of or relating to an older unmarried womana maiden aunt
  6. (modifier) of or involving an initial experience or attempta maiden voyage; maiden speech
  7. (modifier) (of a person or thing) untried; unused
  8. (modifier) (of a place) never trodden, penetrated, or captured
Show More
Derived Formsmaidenish, adjectivemaiden-like, adjective

Word Origin

Old English mægden; related to Old High German magad, Old Norse mogr young man, Old Irish mug slave
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 maiden

n.

Old English mægden, mæden "maiden, virgin, girl; maid, servant," diminutive of mægð, mægeð "virgin, girl; woman, wife," from Proto-Germanic *magadinom "young womanhood, sexually inexperienced female" (cf. Old Saxon magath, Old Frisian maged, Old High German magad "virgin, maid," German Magd "maid, maidservant," German Mädchen "girl, maid," from Mägdchen "little maid"), fem. variant of PIE root *maghu- "youngster of either sex, unmarried person" (cf. Old English magu "child, son, male descendant," Avestan magava- "unmarried," Old Irish maug "slave").

Show More

adj.

"virgin, unmarried," c.1300, from maiden (n.). The figurative sense of "new fresh, first" (cf. maiden voyage) is first recorded 1550s. Maiden name is from 1680s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper