handmaiden

noun
hand·​maid·​en | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌmā-dᵊn How to pronounce handmaiden (audio) \
variants: or less commonly handmaid \ ˈhan(d)-​ˌmād How to pronounce handmaiden (audio) \

Definition of handmaiden

1 : a personal maid or female servant
2 : something whose essential function is to serve or assist criticism is not the enemy of art but rather its handmaiden— Gary Michael

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Synonyms for handmaiden

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Examples of handmaiden in a Sentence

the princess was intensely shy, and allowed only her handmaiden to enter her chambers
Recent Examples on the Web This, of course, begs the question if Catherine really did have a handmaiden who helped her seize power. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Is Catherine’s Handmaiden From The Great A Real Historical Figure?," 5 Jan. 2021 This, of course, begs the question if Catherine really did have a handmaiden who helped her seize power. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Is Catherine’s Handmaiden From The Great A Real Historical Figure?," 5 Jan. 2021 This, of course, begs the question if Catherine really did have a handmaiden who helped her seize power. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Is Catherine’s Handmaiden From The Great A Real Historical Figure?," 5 Jan. 2021 This, of course, begs the question if Catherine really did have a handmaiden who helped her seize power. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Is Catherine’s Handmaiden From The Great A Real Historical Figure?," 5 Jan. 2021 This, of course, begs the question if Catherine really did have a handmaiden who helped her seize power. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Is Catherine’s Handmaiden From The Great A Real Historical Figure?," 5 Jan. 2021 But at the same time, there seems to be little reckoning with the genre’s deep roots in this very system of inequality—little acknowledgment that the art is the handmaiden of the system. Robert Jackson Wood, The New Republic, "The Stubborn Classism of Classical Music," 10 Dec. 2020 Whether as a handmaiden to ethnic cleansing or as a pandemic whose denial is spawning wildly anti-democratic conspiracy theories, disease has a funny way of turning into a battle fought along political lines, while masquerading as natural disaster. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "It’s a Perfect Year for a Non-Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2020 The Washington Post on Tuesday published a story alleging that Barrett, who does not advertise her membership in the group, was at least, at one time, a handmaiden. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "'Democrats are playing with fire': Barrett supporters warn against attacks on her Catholicism ahead of hearings," 7 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handmaiden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handmaiden

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for handmaiden

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The first known use of handmaiden was in the 14th century

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Statistics for handmaiden

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Handmaiden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handmaiden. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for handmaiden

handmaiden

noun

English Language Learners Definition of handmaiden

somewhat old-fashioned : a female servant or maid

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