maiden

1 of 2

noun

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

maiden

2 of 2

adjective

1
a(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

Examples of maiden in a Sentence

Noun a story about a courageous knight who rescues a fair maiden a story about a beautiful maiden and her mysterious father Adjective the maiden issue of a new magazine a politician giving his maiden speech in the Senate
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Sun Princess officially set sail on its 10-day maiden voyage through the Mediterranean on Feb. 28. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 8 Apr. 2024 No scandalous maidens being ravished by rogues here—we’re talking about ideas, please. Hazlitt, 27 Mar. 2024 After tentatively approaching the maiden, the unicorn lays its head in the maiden's lap and falls asleep. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 The projects selected in this maiden edition will compete for various awards, including a prize of €15,000 ($16,350) for the best film in the Last Push section aimed at helping the lead producer to complete his/her film. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 18 Mar. 2024 But after its six-week maiden voyage testing the green energy tech, the Pyxis Ocean MC Shipping Kamsarmax vessel apparently had many more trips ahead of it. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 14 Mar. 2024 The success of that flight proved that NASA could safely relaunch the Columbia shuttle, seven months after its maiden flight, and safely return it to earth. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 As the unicorn slumbers, the maiden starts to sob, and men descend on the sleeping beast, slaying and seizing its body. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 Related article Japan’s H3 rocket launch aborted after booster engine glitch H3’s maiden launch ended in failure last March when its second stage failed to ignite and its controllers issued a destruct command just 15 minutes after lift-off. Junko Ogura, CNN, 17 Feb. 2024
Adjective
The Ted Lasso star has officially been named Godmother of Princess Cruise Line's new Sun Princess ship following its maiden voyage in February, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 8 Apr. 2024 Marsa will now embark upon her maiden voyage, following a private itinerary created by her owner. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 1 Apr. 2024 Five weeks later, Concorde 002—built in Bristol, England, made its maiden flight. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 20 Dec. 2023 The newest and most glam, 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge, on its maiden Alaska season, offers eight-day voyages between Vancouver and Seattle. Janice Wald Henderson, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Mar. 2024 Both made key personnel decisions from the outset which revamped their respective teams; Belichick drafted Brady in his first draft while Reid acquired Alex Smith and drafted Travis Kelce in his maiden offseason in Missouri. Ben Morse, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 This largely completed the qualification of the Ariane 6 rocket for its maiden flight, now scheduled for June or July of this year. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 2 Feb. 2024 While Europeans were celebrating Christmas, BYD was busy finalizing plans to build cars in Hungary in the company’s maiden enlargement of its passenger car production beyond Asia. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2024 This weekend, a maiden race at Laurel has a purse of $27,000 compared to Santa Anita’s $65,000, Turfway Park’s (in Kentucky) $70,000, Aqueduct’s (in New York) $80,000 and Gulfstream Park’s $89,000. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maiden.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Adjective

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Adjective

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near maiden

Cite this Entry

“Maiden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maiden. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

maiden

1 of 2 noun
maid·​en ˈmād-ᵊn How to pronounce maiden (audio)
: a young unmarried girl or woman
maidenhood
-ˌhu̇d
noun
maidenly
-lē
adjective

maiden

2 of 2 adjective
1
a
: not married
maiden aunt
2
: of or relating to a maiden
3
: coming before all others : first, earliest
maiden voyage

More from Merriam-Webster on maiden

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