handmaiden

noun hand·maid·en \ ˈhan(d)-ˌmā-dᵊn \
variants: or less commonly handmaid play \ˈhan(d)-ˌmād\
Updated on: 12 May 2018

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

Examples of handmaiden in a Sentence

  1. the princess was intensely shy, and allowed only her handmaiden to enter her chambers

Recent Examples of handmaiden from the Web

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.

First Known Use of handmaiden

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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handmaiden Synonyms


HANDMAIDEN Defined for English Language Learners

handmaiden

Definition of handmaiden for English Language Learners

  • : a female servant or maid



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to coax or persuade

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