old maid

noun

Definition of old maid

2 : a prim fussy person he was a real old maid about burning rubbish— R. C. Ruark
3 : a simple card game in which cards are matched in pairs and the player holding the unmatched card at the end loses

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Other Words from old maid

old-maidish \ ˈōl(d)-​ˈmā-​dish How to pronounce old maid (audio) \ adjective
old-maidishness \ ˈōl(d)-​ˈmā-​dish-​nəs How to pronounce old maid (audio) \ noun

Examples of old maid in a Sentence

In my generation, you were considered an old maid at 25.
Recent Examples on the Web But the rumors about China have made residents like Marcia Maria da Silva, a 42-year-old maid, nervous. Samantha Pearson And Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Covid-19 Vaccine Race Sparks Political Fight in Brazil," 22 Oct. 2020 In 2018, a Pakistani court sentenced a judge and his wife to three years in jail for torturing a 10-year-old maid in Islamabad. Munir Ahmed, BostonGlobe.com, "Pakistani couple suspected of killing 8-year-old maid," 5 June 2020 Other cases include an 11-year-old maid, who was allegedly clubbed and burned by her employers, the organization said, adding that these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Jack Guy And Sophia Saifi, CNN, "Eight-year-old girl tortured to death for releasing pet parrots, police say," 3 June 2020 In the late 1690s, the term old maid became common. Amy Froide, The Conversation, "Spinster, old maid or self-partnered – why words for single women have changed through time," 2 Dec. 2019 Women who were once called spinsters eventually started being called old maids. Amy Froide, The Conversation, "Spinster, old maid or self-partnered – why words for single women have changed through time," 2 Dec. 2019 Bookish, sensitive, twenty-three, and already considered a bit of an old maid by her family, Jakobe had been a sickly child, and the target of anti-Semitic bullying. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Neglected Modern Masterpiece and Its Perverse Hero," 14 Oct. 2019 Better behave kids or this old maid's fortune is going to charity! 3. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "20 Things You'll Only Understand If You're the Cool Aunt," 21 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'old maid.' 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 old maid

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for old maid

Time Traveler

The first known use of old maid was circa 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Old maid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old%20maid. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for old maid

old maid

noun

English Language Learners Definition of old maid

old-fashioned + disapproving : a woman who has never been married and who is no longer young

old maid

noun

Kids Definition of old maid

1 : an elderly unmarried woman
2 : a very neat fussy person
3 : a card game in which cards are matched in pairs and the player holding the extra queen at the end loses

More from Merriam-Webster on old maid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for old maid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about old maid

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