from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An unmarried girl or woman.
  • noun A woman or girl who is a virgin.
  • noun A housemaid or chambermaid.
  • noun A woman servant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To do the work of a maid: usually referring to a lady's-maid.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A woman, especially a young woman, who has preserved her virginity; a virgin.
  • noun A man who has always remained continent.
  • noun 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.
  • noun One of various fishes. The female of several species of skate.
  • noun The thornback ray. Also called maiden and maidenskate.
  • noun The twait-shad.
  • noun The wryneck, Iynx torquilla.
  • noun A sort of cheesecake.
  • noun 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).
  • noun The lapwing: from the fancy that old maids are changed into these uneasy birds after death.
  • noun The common clam, Mya arenaria.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An unmarried woman; usually, a young unmarried woman; esp., a girl; a virgin; a maiden.
  • noun obsolete A man who has not had sexual intercourse.
  • noun A female servant.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The female of a ray or skate, esp. of the gray skate (Raia batis), and of the thornback (Raia clavata).
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Fair, a.
  • noun a female attendant of a queen or royal princess; -- usually of noble family, and having to perform only nominal or honorary duties.
  • noun See under Old.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun an unmarried girl (especially a virgin)
  • noun 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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  • 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

  • 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