maid·​en | \ ˈmā-dᵊn How to pronounce maiden (audio) \

Definition of maiden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an unmarried girl or woman : maid
2 : a former Scottish beheading device resembling the guillotine (see guillotine sense 1)
3 : a horse that has never won a race



Definition of maiden (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : not married a maiden aunt
(2) : virgin

b of a female animal

(1) : never yet mated
(2) : never having borne young
2 : of, relating to, or befitting a maiden
3 : first, earliest a ship's maiden voyage the maiden flight of a spacecraft

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Synonyms & Antonyms for maiden

Synonyms: Noun

damsel, demoiselle, girl, maid, miss

Synonyms: Adjective

earliest, first, foremost, headmost, inaugural, initial, leadoff, original, pioneer, premier, virgin

Antonyms: Adjective

final, last, latest, latter, terminal, terminating, ultimate

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Examples of maiden in a Sentence


a story about a courageous knight who rescues a fair maiden a story about a beautiful maiden and her mysterious father


the maiden issue of a new magazine a politician giving his maiden speech in the Senate
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The maiden of honor rose to fame after appearing in a show-stopping, body skimming white dress by Alexander McQueen at her sister's wedding to Prince William in 2011. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Arrived 9 Months Pregnant to Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Tartuffe B8 Theatre Company presents Moliere’s classic comedy about a con man trying to win the hand of a young maiden, steal her father’s fortune and seduce his wife. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of April 15," 12 Apr. 2018 Photo: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press Momma was almost 6 feet tall and blonde, like a Viking shield-maiden. Marc Myers, WSJ, "A Pulitzer-Prize Winner Learned Storytelling in the Deep South," 3 July 2018 What’s left is a nine-race card that has four allowance/optional claimers, four races for maidens, four turf races and three races for Cal-breds. John Cherwa,, "Racing! The Kentucky Derby field is starting to take shape with finals preps," 15 Apr. 2018 This quick-breaking filly is back with maidens and qualifies for the conditions since she was disqualified from a Kindergarten Futurity trial victory two outs ago when drifting out to impede rivals past the 1/8-pole. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Learn about handicapping from Rob Henie," 7 July 2018 Jockey: James Graham His only win came as a 2-year-old maiden at seven furlongs. Neil Greenberg,, "2018 Kentucky Derby post draw, odds and picks: Everything you need to know," 1 May 2018 Primitive humans once celebrated May 1 with fertility rituals — think maidens with garlands dancing around a priapic maypole. John Kelly, Washington Post, "May Day used to be a big deal in Washington. Could it ever be again?," 30 Apr. 2018 More coverage: How Justify went from maiden to Triple Crown winner in 112 days 6th WENEEDTOTALK ran fourth against better last out and posted a solid work here on Sunday. Mike Battaglia, The Courier-Journal, "Mike Battaglia's free picks and tips for Sunday at Churchill Downs," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet the world of aviation had radically changed by the time the A380 completed its maiden flight in 2005. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Airbus Shows Danger of Wanting It Bigger and Faster," 14 Feb. 2019 Once those trials are over, the drone will make its maiden flight. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Russia’s First Autonomous Strike Drone," 25 Jan. 2019 The more recent runway tests are being held in preparation for the maiden test flight of the 777X, which will take to the skies for the first time later this year. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "GE's Enormous New Jet Engines Sound Fiercely Loud in Runway Test," 17 Jan. 2019 At an airfield near Tarbes in southern France, about 70 miles from where the A380 superjumbo made its maiden voyage 13 years ago, one of those planes is parked on the tarmac. Robert Wall, WSJ, "The Last 747: Airlines Dump the Jumbo Jet, Transforming International Travel," 29 Dec. 2018 The thing to notice on Friday is there are two races with identical conditions: 3-year-old maiden claimers for $30,000 going 5 ½ furlongs for an identical purse of $21,000. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Magnum Moon wins, but drops in Jon White’s Kentucky Derby poll," 20 Apr. 2018 This was the maiden voyage of eXXpedition, a series of all-women global sailing trips designed to raise awareness around the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 In the fourth, a $33,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies, Emcee Stable, Matt Strzepka and Brian McKenzie's Margie is Livid ($7.60) was a front-running neck winner in 1:02.80 for 5½ furlongs., "Digest (June 24): Brigade keep AFL lead despite loss to Empire," 24 June 2018 Now, Lockheed has committed to a timeline for the maiden test flight of its X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft, a demonstration plane that aims to reduce the noise generated when an aircraft breaks the sound barrier. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Lockheed Martin Has Started Building NASA's X-59 Experimental Supersonic Jet," 20 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maiden.' 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 maiden


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for maiden

Noun and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English mægden, mǣden, diminutive of mægeth; akin to Old High German magad maiden, Old Irish mug serf

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Time Traveler for maiden

The first known use of maiden was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for maiden



English Language Learners Definition of maiden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned + literary : a young girl or woman who is not married



English Language Learners Definition of maiden (Entry 2 of 2)

of a woman, old-fashioned : not married
: coming before all others : first or earliest


maid·​en | \ ˈmā-dᵊn How to pronounce maiden (audio) \

Kids Definition of maiden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an unmarried girl or woman



Kids Definition of maiden (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : unmarried
2 : first entry 1 This is our maiden voyage to Europe.

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More from Merriam-Webster on maiden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maiden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maiden

Spanish Central: Translation of maiden

Nglish: Translation of maiden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maiden for Arabic Speakers

Comments on maiden

What made you want to look up maiden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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