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

There are seven races starting at 2 p.m., four of them are claimers and four of them involve maidens. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Will the downhill turf races return?," 25 July 2019 With their cool, precise lighting, her portrayals bring to mind Renaissance images of Eve, or perhaps pre-Raphaelite maidens freed of their Victorian garb. Steven Litt,, "Transformer Station’s “I Sing the Body’’ surveys photographic interpretation of the human form," 14 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket’s maiden flight carried a cherry-red electric Tesla Roadster, with a mannequin passenger, and set it in orbit around the Sun, a demonstration to potential clients of its payload transport capabilities. Echo Huang, Quartz, "Watch: This Chinese rocket’s payload included a model SUV made by its sponsor," 30 July 2019 In keeping with its revised schedule for a maiden launch in 2020, Europe's Vega-C rocket has completed its critical design review. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: A Yellow Sea launch, SpaceX’s upcoming high-value mission," 7 June 2019 For the maiden test launch, the company figured it best to send something meaningful to end up in orbit in space. Nina Godlewski, Newsweek, "Watch: Falcon Heavy Launch From SpaceX Set to David Bowie Song," 13 Mar. 2018 The Long March 5’s maiden launch, in 2016, was a success. The Economist, "Hainan aims highChina’s ambitions in space are growing," 20 Jan. 2018 This is the final American human spaceflight until the space shuttle's maiden flight in 1981. William Harwood, CBS News, "The path to Apollo 11: A timeline of the space race to land on the moon," 15 July 2019 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

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

7 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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