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[brahydz-meyd] /ˈbraɪdzˌmeɪd/
a young woman who attends the bride at a wedding ceremony.
Informal. a person, group, etc., that is in a secondary position, never quite attains a goal, etc.:
Bridesmaids for 12 seasons, the Eagles finally won the championship.
Origin of bridesmaid
1545-55; bride1 + 's1 + maid Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bridesmaid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And there the matter dropped, as each lady waited anxiously for the request that should make her a bridesmaid.

    By Birth a Lady George Manville Fenn
  • And you see I had set my heart on her being Caroline's bridesmaid.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • She yo' ma's bridesmaid, an' yuh always gre't fav'ite o' hers.

    Talbot's Angles Amy E. Blanchard
  • She accepted him; and I was, indeed, happy when I officiated as bridesmaid for her.

  • Would yer like Darlin' fer a bridesmaid—and grog and angel-cake?

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • I had counted on having you for bridesmaid, and you would not come home.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
British Dictionary definitions for bridesmaid


a girl or young unmarried woman who attends a bride at her wedding Compare matron of honour, maid of honour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bridesmaid

1550s, bridemaid, from bride + maid. The -s- is excrescent but began to appear by 1794 and the form with it predominated by the end of the 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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