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

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My Native American father drew the Land O’Lakes maiden. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Son of Land O'Lakes artist defends Native American father's work: Removed design was 'never a stereotype'," 1 May 2020 Despite showrunner Will Davies' best efforts to electrify the stakes with contemporary high-fantasy clichés ranging from sassy maidens to Shamanistic bloodlines, the story remains downright quaint and the climax laughably limp. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Letter for the King': TV Review," 20 Mar. 2020 All eight of Friday’s races are claimers, four for maidens and four for others. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Congrats to Santa Anita for safe workouts," 12 July 2019 Land O’Lakes is retiring the iconic Native American butter maiden that has appeared on its logo for the past 92 years. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Land O'Lakes ditches iconic Native American butter maiden logo after nearly a century," 16 Apr. 2020 There is one stakes race, two allowance races and the rest are maidens or claiming races. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Congrats to Pacific Classic winner Higher Power," 18 Aug. 2019 The story of Skell, Llao and the earthly maiden thus seems to be an interpretation of real events that has been passed on intact for almost eight millennia. The Economist, "Geomythology An Australian legend may be the world’s oldest datable story," 27 Feb. 2020 Los Angeles, New York and Barcelona were on her spring itinerary, while her maiden Australia voyage was penciled in. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "Amid Coronavirus, the World Closes Its Doors to China: ‘I Feel So Isolated’," 18 Feb. 2020 Every once in a while the sky opens up until a water maiden sacrifices herself, and all is normal, until the next time. Maya Phillips, TheWeek, "Weathering With You," 22 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The horse had raced twice at the maiden claiming level, earning $4,340. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Santa Anita suffers 13th horse death this season," 11 May 2020 In her maiden speech in the Senate, Ms. Hanson called for a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia. Besha Rodell, New York Times, "Celebrating the Great Australian Tradition of Meat in a Box," 7 May 2020 New York Jets: GM Joe Douglas used his maiden draft to try and fulfill a promise to Sam Darnold's parents, acquiring players who can directly assist the third-year quarterback. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL draft grades 2020: Ravens, Vikings nab top team hauls while Packers, Eagles confound," 27 Apr. 2020 Atanu Chakraborty, Economic Affairs Secretary Chakraborty, a government-assets sale expert who took charge of the economic affairs department in July, consigned India’s maiden overseas sovereign bond sale plan to the back-burner. Vrishti Beniwal,, "The Officials Working Behind the Scenes on India’s Budget," 9 Jan. 2020 Many made their first maiden voyage on the 2019 cruise, but the majority had three, four, five or more trips under their belt. Dasun Imanuel, Essence, "The (One) Love Boat: Inside The Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise," 8 Jan. 2020 This is hardly what majority owner Joe Lacob had in mind for Chase Center’s maiden campaign. Connor Letourneau,, "Stephen Curry breaks hand as Warriors fall to Suns," 31 Oct. 2019 The Italian, who won the English Premier League in his first season in charge before leaving Stamford Bridge in July 2019, could yet have a similar impact in his maiden season in Milan. James Masters, CNN, "Inter Milan vs. Juventus: Antonio Conte seeks to answer prayers in search for holy grail," 4 Oct. 2019 No passengers were on board the ship, and it was set to make its maiden voyage in March. NBC News, "Warren calls on UberEats, Instacart and others to reclassify workers as employees," 18 Apr. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for maiden

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Maiden.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for maiden


How to pronounce maiden (audio)

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)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on maiden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for maiden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with maiden

Spanish Central: Translation of maiden

Nglish: Translation of maiden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maiden for Arabic Speakers

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