old maid


: a prim fussy person
he was a real old maid about burning rubbishR. C. Ruark
: a simple card game in which cards are matched in pairs and the player holding the unmatched card at the end loses
old-maidish adjective
old-maidishness noun

Examples of old maid in a Sentence

In my generation, you were considered an old maid at 25.
Recent Examples on the Web And who didn’t end up an old maid. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, 19 Sep. 2022 This was true especially for women who did not fit into typical gendered roles like the virtuous bride, the good mother or the helpful old maid. Joel Christensen, The Conversation, 15 Nov. 2022 An old maid at six and twenty, Kate arrives in London with her mother, Lady Mary Sharma (Shelley Conn), and younger half-sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran). Katie Rife, Rolling Stone, 29 Mar. 2022 Higgins also noted that Mary’s fate as an old maid in this alternative universe, portrayed as hideous and sad, is presented as perfectly fine, appropriate and desirable for Annie in the real world. Christopher Wilson, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Dec. 2021 As Beres laughs and tries to decipher who has the old maid, MacDougall starts to laugh, too. cleveland, 8 Mar. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of old maid was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near old maid

Cite this Entry

“Old maid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old%20maid. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

old maid

: an elderly unmarried woman
: a very neat fussy person
: a card game in which all but one of the cards are matched in pairs and the player holding the unmatched card at the end loses

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