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old maid

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noun
Disparaging and Offensive. an elderly or confirmed spinster.
a fussy, timid, prudish person.
Cards.
  1. a simple game, played with a deck having one card removed, in which the players draw from one another to match pairs and the one holding an odd queen at the end loses.
  2. the loser of such a game.
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Origin of old maid

First recorded in 1520–30

usage note for old maid

The meaning “a spinster” is used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. It puts emphasis on the woman’s advanced age and assumed inability to ever attract a husband. See also spinster.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use old maid in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for old maid

old maid

noun
a woman regarded as unlikely ever to marry; spinster
informal a prim, fastidious, or excessively cautious person
a card game using a pack from which one card has been removed, in which players try to avoid holding the unpaired card at the end of the game

Derived forms of old maid

old-maidish, 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
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