follow Dictionary.com

Get our exclusive Word of the Day images!

handmaid

[hand-meyd] /ˈhændˌmeɪd/
noun
1.
something that is necessarily subservient or subordinate to another:
Ceremony is but the handmaid of worship.
2.
a female servant or attendant.
Also, handmaiden.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English; see hand, maid
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hand maiden

handmaid

n.

late 14c., from hand (n.) in the sense in close at hand + maid. Cf. Old English handþegn "personal attendant."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
hand maiden in the Bible

servant (Gen. 16:1; Ruth 3:9; Luke 1:48). It is probable that Hagar was Sarah's personal attendant while she was in the house of Pharaoh, and was among those maid-servants whom Abram had brought from Egypt.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for handmaid

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hand

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends