[ meyd-n ]
See synonyms for: maidenmaidens on

  1. Archaic. a girl or young unmarried woman; maid.

  2. Archaic. a female virgin.

  1. a horse that has never won a race.

  2. a race open only to maiden horses.

  3. an instrument resembling the guillotine, formerly used in Scotland for beheading criminals.

  4. Cricket. maiden over.

  1. Archaic. of, relating to, or befitting a girl or unmarried woman: her maiden virtues.

  2. Archaic. (of a woman, especially one past middle age) unmarried: my maiden aunt.

  1. (of a girl or woman) never having had sexual intercourse; virgin.

  2. made, tried, appearing, etc., for the first time: a maiden flight.

  3. (of a horse) never having won a race or a prize.

  4. (of a prize or a race) offered for or open only to maiden horses.

  5. untried, as a knight, soldier, or weapon.

Origin of maiden

First recorded before 1000; Middle English, from Old English mægden, equivalent to mægd, mæg(e)th (cognate with German Magd, Gothic magaths ) + -en -en5

Other words from maiden

  • maid·en·ish, adjective
  • maid·en·ship, noun

Words Nearby maiden Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use maiden in a sentence

  • The exile and the maiden, in short, fell in love with each other, and they mutually vowed never to be parted but by force.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • For forty years Anastatia Dodd had lived in maiden meditation fancy free.

  • "Oh, but dear Mrs. Dodd, suppose she couldn't help it," said the artless maiden with a blush and a little sigh.

  • A member of parliament took occasion to make his maiden speech, on a question respecting the execution of a particular statute.

  • Recall his threat when coughed down on the occasion of his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

    Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)

British Dictionary definitions for maiden


/ (ˈmeɪdən) /

  1. archaic, or literary

    • a young unmarried girl, esp when a virgin

    • (as modifier): a maiden blush

  2. horse racing

    • a horse that has never won a race

    • (as modifier): a maiden race

  1. cricket See maiden over

  2. Also called: clothes maiden Northern English dialect a frame on which clothes are hung to dry; clothes horse

  3. (modifier) of or relating to an older unmarried woman: a maiden aunt

  4. (modifier) of or involving an initial experience or attempt: a maiden voyage; maiden speech

  5. (modifier) (of a person or thing) untried; unused

  6. (modifier) (of a place) never trodden, penetrated, or captured

Origin of maiden

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

Derived forms of maiden

  • maidenish, adjective
  • maiden-like, adjective

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