1. An unmarried woman; a girl or woman who has not experienced sexual intercourse; a virgin; a maid. "She employed the residue of her life to repairing of highways, building of bridges, and endowing of maidens." (Carew) "A maiden of our century, yet most meek." (Tennyson)

2. A female servant.

3. An instrument resembling the guillotine, formerly used in Scotland for beheading criminals.

4. A machine for washing linen.

Origin: OE. Maiden, meiden, AS. Maegden, dim. Of AS. Maeg, fr. Mago son, servant; akin to G. Magd, madchen, maid, OHG. Magad, Icel. Mogr son, Goth. Magus boy, child, magaps virgin, and perh. To Zend. Magu youth. Cf. Maid a virgin.

1. Of or pertaining to a maiden, or to maidens; suitable to, or characteristic of, a virgin; as, maiden innocence. "Amid the maiden throng." "Have you no modesty, no maiden shame ?" (Shak)

2. Never having been married; not having had sexual intercourse; virgin; said usually of the woman, but sometimes of the man; as, a maiden aunt. "A surprising old maiden lady."

3. Fresh; innocent; unpolluted; pure; hitherto unused. "Maiden flowers.' "Full bravely hast thou fleshed Thy maiden sword." (Shak)

4. Used of a fortress, signifying that it has never been captured, or violated. Maiden assize, a West Indian tree (Comocladia integrifolia) with purplish drupes. The sap of the tree is glutinous, and gives a persistent black stain. Maiden speech, the first speech made by a person, especially. By a new member in a public body. Maiden tower, the tower most capable of resisting an enemy.

(01 Mar 1998)

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