from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An unmarried girl or woman.
  • n. A virgin.
  • n. A woman servant.
  • n. A housemaid or chambermaid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A girl or an unmarried young woman; maiden.
  • n. A female servant or cleaner (short for maidservant).
  • n. A virgin of either gender.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An unmarried woman; usually, a young unmarried woman; esp., a girl; a virgin; a maiden.
  • n. A man who has not had sexual intercourse.
  • n. A female servant.
  • n. The female of a ray or skate, esp. of the gray skate (Raia batis), and of the thornback (Raia clavata).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do the work of a maid: usually referring to a lady's-maid.
  • n. A young unmarried woman; a girl; specifically, a girl of marriageable age, but applied, usually with little or some other qualifying term, to a female child of any age above infancy: as, a maid, or a little maid, of ten summers.
  • n. A woman, especially a young woman, who has preserved her virginity; a virgin.
  • n. A man who has always remained continent.
  • n. A female servant or attendant charged with domestic duties: usually with a specific designation, as a housemaid, chambermaid, nurse-maid, a maid of all work, etc. See the compounds, and phrases below.
  • n. One of various fishes. The female of several species of skate.
  • n. The thornback ray. Also called maiden and maidenskate.
  • n. The twait-shad.
  • n. The wryneck, Iynx torquilla.
  • n. A sort of cheesecake.
  • n. A game of cards played by any number of persons with a pack of fifty-one cards, one of the queens being thrown out; all cards that match are discarded, and that player in whose hand the odd queen is finally left is said to be caught, and doomed to be an old maid (or bachelor).
  • n. The lapwing: from the fancy that old maids are changed into these uneasy birds after death.
  • n. The common clam, Mya arenaria.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unmarried girl (especially a virgin)
  • n. a female domestic


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English maide, from Old English mægden; see maghu- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English mayde, maide, abbreviation of maiden.



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  • We need a name (and a list) for this particular kind of "fake false friend", where a foreign word that looks like an English one has a different etymology and is not a translation, but a somewhat related meaning.

    (Can anyone think of more words like that?)

    March 1, 2010

  • Interestingly, in French, 'She helps me' translates to 'Elle m'aide'. I thought this had something to do with the etymology of this word, but it doesn't seem so... And yet, the co-incidence seems a bit too uncanny.


    March 1, 2010