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

This star represents a grain of wheat being held by the maiden. Arnold Pearlstein,, "The Stars This Week: July 7 - 13," 7 July 2019 The unicorn has long been a fierce symbol of Scotland, known as a powerful and mysterious creature—lured forth only by a maiden—whose horn could purify water. James Hookway, WSJ, "Unicorn, Comeback Symbol of Scottish Independence, Is a Hit With Little Girls," 4 June 2019 This beauty is the most brilliant member of the constellation Virgo and represents a grain of wheat being held by this celestial maiden. Arnold Pearlstein,, "The Stars this Week: June 9-15," 9 June 2019 That came after a pair of second-place finishes after Joevia broke his maiden the first time out on July 15, 2018. Mark Inabinett |,, "Belmont Stakes 2019: Meet the contenders and watch them run," 3 June 2019 One race later, Carrasco finished fourth aboard Another Broad for trainer Mike Trombetta in a $33,000 waiver maiden claiming event for fillies and mares ages 3 and up going 6 furlongs on the main track., "Digest: Carrasco places fifth, fourth at Laurel Park in return to racing," 18 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Race 12 The meet ends with a well matched maiden race on the grass. Mike Battaglia, The Courier-Journal, "Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia's free picks for Saturday's races at Churchill Downs," 28 June 2019 Two of the astronauts had completed their maiden flights: Anne McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada., "American, Canadian, Russian back on Earth from space station," 25 June 2019 The Lionesses kept alive their hopes of winning a maiden World Cup trophy with a hard-fought victory over Cameroon., "Women's World Cup Roundup: England See Off Hostile Cameroon as France Leave it Late Against Brazil," 23 June 2019 Preparations for Artemis have already begun, as NASA gets set for the maiden flight of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year. Jason Davis, NBC News, "NASA's Artemis program will return astronauts to the moon and give us the first female moonwalker," 11 June 2019 Goncalo Guedes' second-half strike was enough to earn Portugal a deserved victory over the Netherlands, handing them the Nations League trophy in the competition's maiden instalment., "Portugal 1-0 Netherlands: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Hosts Secure Inaugural Nations League Glory," 9 June 2019 Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched a Crew Dragon capsule on its maiden voyage into orbit without people on board, but technical challenges could delay for months the first trip carrying astronauts. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "SpaceX Crew Capsule Lifts Off for Long-Delayed Test Flight—Without People Inside," 2 Mar. 2019 Its maiden trip was widely heralded, and it first few voyages were unqualified successes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Wild Conspiracy That the Titanic Never Sank," 27 Feb. 2019 The Augsburg forward wasted no time sweeping the ball into the back of the net to hand Strakarnir Okkar yet another memorable moment, following their Euro 16 exploits, as well as their maiden goal in their first World Cup., "Argentina 1-1 Iceland: Messi and Co Stunned by Steely Icelandic Side in World Cup Opener," 16 June 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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Statistics for maiden

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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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).


to complain fretfully

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