Denotation vs. Connotation


[meyd] /meɪd/
a female servant.
a girl or young unmarried woman.
Archaic. a virgin.
Origin of maid
1150-1200; Middle English; apocopated variant of maiden
Related forms
maidish, adjective
maidishness, noun
submaid, noun
undermaid, noun
Can be confused
made, maid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for maid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It's the mother of the maid I have engaged," said M. Grimaldi.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The face of the maid that served him had been no heaven for the souls of dead flowers.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • And thus were broken the will of the maid and the army of the king.'

  • Only the maid answered the ringing of the telephone, and his notes were seemingly unheeded.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The maid, coming in next morning to "do" the grate, found him still asleep.

    Saint's Progress John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for maid


(archaic or literary) a young unmarried girl; maiden
  1. a female servant
  2. (in combination): a housemaid
a spinster
Derived Forms
maidish, adjective
maidishness, noun
Word Origin
C12: shortened form of maiden
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 maid

late 12c., "a virgin, a young unmarried woman," shortening of maiden (n.). Like that word, used in Middle English of unmarried men as well as women (cf. maiden-man, c.1200, used of both sexes, reflecting also the generic use of man). Domestic help sense is from c.1300. In reference to Joan of Arc, attested from 1540s (cf. French la Pucelle). Maid Marian, one of Robin Hood's companions, first recorded 1520s, perhaps from French, where Robin et Marian have been stock names for country lovers since 13c. Maid of Honor (1580s) originally was "unmarried lady of noble birth who attends a queen or princess;" meaning "principal bridesmaid" is attested from 1895. Maydelond (translating Latin terra feminarum) was "the land of the Amazons."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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