a. An unmarried girl or woman.
b. A woman or girl who is a virgin.
2. A machine resembling the guillotine, used in Scotland in the 1500s and 1600s to behead criminals.
a. A racehorse that has never won a race.
b. See maiden over.
1. Of, relating to, or befitting a maiden.
2. Being an unmarried girl or woman: a maiden aunt.
3. Being a racehorse that has never won a race.
4. First or earliest: a maiden voyage; a maiden speech in the Senate.
[Middle English, from Old English mægden; see maghu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus