Definitions

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

  • n. Offensive A woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying.
  • n. Informal A person regarded as being primly fastidious.
  • n. Games A card game in which the player who holds a designated card at the end is the loser.
  • n. Games The loser of this game.
  • n. Chiefly Southern U.S. See zinnia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An old woman who has never married; a spinster.
  • n. A particular kind of periwinkle.
  • n. A particular kind of zinnia.
  • n. An unpopped kernel in a batch of popped popcorn kernels.
  • n. A card game in which cards must be paired and one undesirable card is designated "old maid".
  • n. An unpaired card in that game.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See under Old.
  • adj. A simple game of cards, played by matching them. The person with whom the odd card is left is the old maid.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The house-or garden-plant Vinca rosea.
  • n. A gaping clam: same as gaper, 4.

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

  • n. a card game using a pack of cards from which one queen has been removed; players match cards and the player holding the unmatched queen at the end of the game is the loser (or `old maid')
  • n. an elderly unmarried woman
  • n. the loser in a game of old maid
  • n. any of various plants of the genus Zinnia cultivated for their variously and brightly colored flower heads
  • n. commonly cultivated Old World woody herb having large pinkish to red flowers

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • There are retail card decks specifically for playing Old Maid, but it is just as easy to play with a regular deck of 52 cards. In this case, one Queen is removed from the deck and the remaining 51 cards are used. Players try to collect tricks of pairs without drawing the single Queen or Old Maid.

    January 28, 2008