an old maid

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 ?
But then, to be an old maid at last, like Miss Bates
I cannot see why she must be always running down the men, even if she is an old maid.
The head woman, Madame Lardot's factotum, an old maid of forty-six, hideous to behold, lived on the opposite side of the passage to the chevalier.
Mother is not an old maid," said his virgin sister with pinched lips.
Austen introduces Anne as an old maid, however, through her family's definition of her as past her prime and unmarriageable.
Charlotte, under the guise of a reoccurrence of her well-known lung illness, hides the pregnancy and goes South to have Tina; she then puts her child in a New York orphanage so that she can care for her while pretending to be an old maid making charitable visits.
I'm an old maid of 33, and have been in the property-casualty business for 10 years.
Here lies Ann Mann Who lived an old maid But died an old Mann.
Seton's estimation, are women who marry merely to avoid the stigma of being called an old maid, those of whom it is said, "she 'married to die a Mrs.
The lady who put us up was an old maid, totally out of her depth with two large 11 and 12-year-old boys.
Lizzie Curry (Katharine Hepburn) is fast becoming an old maid.
I don't see myself as an old maid but they seem to.
Honorable Often to Be an Old Maid," May 1858, quoted in Cogan, All-American Girl, 107.
Since I'm single, people think I'm just an old maid.
Bessie is disparagingly referred to as an ``old settler'' - essentially, an old maid - which is something of a point of contention between her and Quilly.