- any of a class of folkloric maidens, in many Indo-European and Asian tales, capable of being transformed into swans, as by magic or sorcery.
Origin of swan maiden
First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for swan maiden
Something, however, must be said on the Swan-maiden as divine ancestress.The Science of Fairy Tales
Edwin Sidney Hartland
In this respect the swan-maiden and the Valkyries are identical.Women of the Teutonic Nations
The swan-maiden had not the faintest idea of offering resistance.
What centuries ago it seems since the first night of The Swan-Maiden!
The dance which she had chosen for her last appearance was the Swan-Maiden.
- any of a group of maidens in folklore who by magic are transformed into swans