something that is necessarily subservient or subordinate to another: Ceremony is but the handmaid of worship.
a female servant or attendant.
Also, handmaiden.

1350–1400; Middle English; see hand, maid

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World English Dictionary
handmaiden or handmaid (ˈhændˌmeɪdən)
1.  a person or thing that serves a useful but subordinate purpose: logic is the handmaid of philosophy
2.  archaic a female servant or attendant
handmaid or handmaid

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1382, from hand (in the sense in close at hand) + maid. Cf. O.E. handþrgn "personal attendant."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Handmaid definition

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
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Example sentences
Let flattery, the handmaid of vice, be far removed from friendship.
The little handmaid bubbled over with will-ing talk.
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