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

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

12 Jun 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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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