old maid

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old maid

1. dated A disparaging term for an older, unmarried woman. She had a few suitors in her youth, but now Edna is an old maid. My parents are pressuring me to get married—they don't want any of their daughters to become an old maid.
2. A fussy, prudish person. You better make sure the place settings are perfect, what with the old maid coming to dinner tonight.
3. A card game in which players pair matching cards and try to avoid being the last one holding the only card with no mate, dubbed the "old maid." When my kids were little, they loved playing old maid.
See also: maid, old

an old ˈmaid

(old-fashioned, disapproving) a woman who has never married and is now no longer young
See also: maid, old
References in classic literature ?
Both, ensconced in their idea and wearing the armor of apparent indifference, awaited the moment when some lucky chance might deliver the old maid over to them.
Besides, his marriage with the old maid would put him socially so high in the town that he would have great influence.
Gentlemen, which means boys, be courteous to the old maids, no matter how poor and plain and prim, for the only chivalry worth having is that which is the readiest to pay deference to the old, protect the feeble, and serve womankind, regardless of rank, age, or color.
The old maids, in particular, of forty years and upward, and dry in proportion, devoured his photographs day and night.
In gentry homes of middling affluence, the old maid compensated for the additional burden she placed on the household by service to the family.
Anne embodies not the old maid characterized by the physical signs of aging and dimming beauty but a person marked by sorrow recovering from loss (albeit self-inflicted) of a hoped-for union.
This continues until all the cards have been put down in pairs, except the Old Maid, which is left alone and cannot be paired.
It here turns outward and includes the old maid in the national family, as well.
Sedgwick reimagines both the couple and the old maid's relationship to them.
For its Opera Workshop, it produced three short operas: Menotti's The Telephone and The Old Maid and the Thief, and Barber's A Hand of Bridge (libretto by Menotti).
Dean Bradshaw on the piano provided a controlled and congruent interpretation of all three operas, while Gary Ewer inconspicuously conducted The Old Maid and the Thief and kept it tightly moving.
The second is <IR> THE OLD MAID </IR> , always considered the most successful of this quartet.
Ottawa natives Julie Nesrallah and Shannon Mercer opened the evening in The Old Maid and the Thief, the deliciously witty satire on bourgeois morality created by Menotti in 1947.
Appearing originally as one in a series of four small volumes entitled <IR> OLD NEW YORK </IR> , The Old Maid tells the story of Tina, Charlotte Lovell's illegitimate daughter, who is brought up by Charlotte's cousin Delia in ignorance of her parentage.
She won a Pulitzer Prize for her dramatization of Edith Wharton's THE OLD MAID, produced in 1935.