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 handmaid (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

Synonyms

biddy, char [British], charwoman, house girl, housekeeper, housemaid, maid, maidservant, skivvy [British], wench

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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

Ignore #FakeNews and it’s handmaidens of stupid outrage. Derrick Bryson Taylor, BostonGlobe.com, "Republican official vows to stop Kelly ‘dead in his tracks’," 7 Sep. 2019 Yet the outrage marshaled by the media, in their role as Democratic handmaidens, is deeply cynical, designed to separate Trump from suburban voters in 2020. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Race card loses its sting as it’s overused," 29 July 2019 From its earliest beginnings, as a form of glorified looting carried out by armies and aristocrats to shore up imperialist claims of civilizational progress, archaeology has been a handmaiden of nationalism. Rachel Poser, Harper's magazine, "Common Ground," 19 Aug. 2019 Yet the outrage marshaled by the media, in their role as Democratic handmaidens, is deeply cynical, designed to separate Trump from suburban voters in 2020. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Race card loses its sting as it’s overused," 29 July 2019 Yet the outrage marshaled by the media, in their role as Democratic handmaidens, is deeply cynical, designed to separate Trump from suburban voters in 2020. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Race card loses its sting as it’s overused," 29 July 2019 Yet the outrage marshaled by the media, in their role as Democratic handmaidens, is deeply cynical, designed to separate Trump from suburban voters in 2020. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Race card loses its sting as it’s overused," 29 July 2019 Yet the outrage marshaled by the media, in their role as Democratic handmaidens, is deeply cynical, designed to separate Trump from suburban voters in 2020. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The race card slowly loses its sting through overuse as we head toward 2020," 24 July 2019 But canon wreckers and propagandists such as DuVernay would deny Gish’s accomplishments, overturning rich history for tribal grievance and its handmaiden, ignorance. Armond White, National Review, "Lillian Gish’s Genius Will Outlast Ava DuVernay and the Canon Wreckers," 26 June 2019

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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Statistics for handmaiden

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for handmaiden

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

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More Definitions for handmaiden

handmaiden

noun

English Language Learners Definition of handmaiden

somewhat old-fashioned : a female servant or maid

More from Merriam-Webster on handmaiden

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