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 ?
Turning her mother's head this way and that, she fastened on the cap and, hurriedly kissing her gray hair, ran back to the maids who were turning up the hem of her skirt.
Two maids were turning up the hem and hurriedly biting off the ends of thread.
I'll arrange it," and she rushed forward so that the maids who were tacking up her skirt could not move fast enough and a piece of gauze was torn off.
You have company, Your Highness," announced the maid, bowing low.
So the maid assisted her to gain her feet, although Langwidere was the stronger of the two; and then the Princess slowly walked across the silver floor to her cabinet, leaning heavily at every step upon Nanda's arm.
9, which she had been wearing, to the maid, she took No.
This muff, ever since the departure of Mr Jones, had been the constant companion of Sophia by day, and her bedfellow by night; and this muff she had at this very instant upon her arm; whence she took it off with great indignation, and, having writ her name with her pencil upon a piece of paper which she pinned to it, she bribed the maid to convey it into the empty bed of Mr Jones, in which, if he did not find it, she charged her to take some method of conveying it before his eyes in the morning.
I demand a hundred head of cattle from Masilo, for the maid is fair and straight, a proper maid, and, moreover, my daughter, though not of my blood.
Thus he spoke very fast, as a man gabbles a prayer to a spirit in whom he has little faith, then turned once more to talk of the cattle of Masilo and of the maid Zinita.
On this the maids left off running away and began calling one another back.
As long as we are going past the fields and farm lands, follow briskly behind the waggon along with the maids and I will lead the way myself.
Three ladies' maids had appeared to pass their examination, and had all, on coming to the question of wages, impudently declined accepting the place.
In Auvergne the maids are kind, but the wines are sour.
Having had some experience of the great Cuff's round-about ways, and having last seen him evidently bent on following Rosanna privately when she went out for her walk, it seemed clear to me that he had thought it unadvisable to let the lady's maid and the housemaid know how materially they had helped him.
I told him exactly what had happened, mentioning particularly what my lady's maid and the house-maid had said about Rosanna Spearman.